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Editor's Note

Mentally Fatigued

The long-lasting effects from everyone’s favorite virus.




WELL, IT HAPPENED. After two and a half years of somehow avoiding it, I got COVID.

My symptoms were very mild in comparison to what I’ve heard from others who contracted this variant, but I’m still having a hard time focusing. Sometimes when I type, my words are rearranged or I’ll type the same word in a row, but with two different spellings. For example, “I bought to two wide-format printers at the tradeshow.” I imagine this would be frustrating to anyone, but for someone whose job it is to edit and write, it’s pretty maddening.

“Brain fog is not a medical or scientific term; it is used by individuals to describe how they feel when their thinking is sluggish, fuzzy, and not sharp,” says Andrew E. Budson, MD, in a blog for Harvard Health Publishing. He refers to a recent Chinese study “The Landscape of Cognitive Function in Recovered COVID-19 Patients” by calling the feeling “persistent impairment in sustained attention.”

I would say I have the attention span of a goldfish, but that would be putting it mildly. A recent study by Microsoft states human attention span has dropped to eight seconds – shrinking nearly 25 percent in just a few years. A goldfish has an attention span of nine seconds. I must be clocking in at five or six with COVID brain.

To combat my cognitive challenges, Dr. Budson recommends exercising, eating a Mediterranean diet, avoiding drugs and alcohol, sleeping well, practicing mindfulness, and participating in social activities. I try to stick to these rules on a regular basis, so hopefully I’ll be back to a whopping eight seconds in no time.

For anyone who is dealing with mental or physical health issues due to COVID-19, try to follow the previously mentioned tips and, most importantly, rest. Surround yourself with a good team that can pick up the pieces while you focus on your health.

Smart Tips From This Issue

  1. When printing graphics for a client hosting a large-scale event, treat them like a partner, as opposed to a customer. It can make all the difference. (The Big Story)
  2. The print time, proofing, and file preparation of dimensional textured printing can be challenging. Do your research before jumping into a new technology or application. (Special Feature)
  3. 64 percent of PSPs reported they’ve had employees resign in the last year. Consider automating parts of your business during the current labor shortage. (Special Feature)
  4. Include product descriptions with before and after shots of a space to help interior décor customers visualize what their print product will look like. (Big Business)

Adrienne Palmer is the editor-in-chief of Big Picture and Screen Printing magazines. She joined Big Picture magazine in 2012 after graduating from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism with a BA in magazine journalism. During her time with Big Picture, she has held the roles of assistant editor, associate editor, and managing editor; she added sister publication Screen Printing magazine to her resume in 2019. She is a 2019 Folio: Top Woman in Media; spearheads Big Picture's annual Women in Wide Format Awards and Best of Wide Format Awards as well as Screen Printing's annual Women in Screen Printing Awards; is on the board of Printing United Alliance's Women in Print Alliance and the U.N.I.T.E. Together diversity and inclusion program; hosts the Screen Saver podcast; and represents the Big Picture and Screen Printing teams at numerous industry events year-round as a speaker, moderator, and panelist.



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