SCI Associate Professor Yu-Ru Lin was recently featured in an article by National Geographic titled "Why our minds can't make sense of COVID-19's enormous death toll." The story explores the difficulty people have in processing the increasing death toll of the coronavirus and offers methods that can help people understand the impact of the pandemic and take positive action. Here is an excerpt:
"This feeling of being in the middle of a crisis has prevented us from mourning and creating the types of memorials that help us connect with victims, such as the inscribed names of loved ones that people can visit and touch the September 11 Memorial in New York City, or the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Those rituals usually are created after an event has occurred or when a crisis has ended, says Yu-Ru Lin, an associate professor at the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.
In her research, Lin has documented people’s emotional reactions on social media to 'short-term and shocking' events or natural disasters, such as this study about the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. She has found that being able to express a surge of emotions after the defined event helped people cope."