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The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Taking A Toll On Our "Mental Bandwidth"

Overloaded with information during the pandemic
Our "mental bandwidth" is overloaded during this pandemic, affecting our decision making abilities

The COVID-19 pandemic and it's subsequent interruptions and shut-downs began nearly 9 months ago. Safe to say it's been one of, if not the most disruptive event in our lifetimes.

That disruption has affected us profoundly; and in so many ways. Loss of life, loss of jobs, inability to visit family and friends, children not being at school, businesses and services being closed, the list goes on.

All of those changes take a toll on our sense of routine, and our sense of order, which as human beings, is something we crave.

And with the uncertainty we've been thrust into our brain's "mental bandwidth" has taken a hit. Think of mental bandwidth as our ability to process information, deal with stress, and make rational decisions...

Combine all of those with a global pandemic and it's a recipe for disaster.

Today we're going to talk about what our "mental bandwidth" is, how the pandemic is affecting it, and perhaps what's needed as we move forward.

Dr. Tina Bhargava, an associate professor at Kent State University joins us for that conversation.

But to kick off the hour, we check in with Karen Kasler, at the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau. She has the latest on Governor DeWine's 21 day curfew that will be on Thursday, November 12th.

We'll also be joined by Ohio State Senator Matt Dolan, and he'll give us his opinion of the Governor's handling of the coronavirus.

Lastly, we dive into how the pandemic has been affecting individuals with disabilities; particularly in the area of employment. It's a sad fact that those individuals already face higher rates us unemployment, but the coronavirus pandemic has made that much worse.

Susie Barragate, the President and CEO of Vocational Guidance Services, fills us in on how that organization continues it's mission to help place individuals with disabilities into the workforce, as these trying times continue.

- Karen Kasler, Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau

- Matt Dolan, Ohio State Senator

- Tina Bhargava, DrPh, Associate Professor of Public Health, Kent State University

- Susie Barragate, President and CEO, Vocational Guidance Services






Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.