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According to the New York Times, due to the pandemic, tedium is reshaping what people buy and how productive they are.


  1. What are some of the economic consequences of the pandemic that are noted in the article?
  2. The author of this article describes the pandemic as producing a collective sense of ennui. Define the word ennui.
  3. The author indicated that the GameStop debacle was a sign of boredom. Do you agree? Discuss.
  4. What types of things are stores selling out of during this time and why?
  5. Do you agree or disagree with the last paragraph of the article that “boredom could lead people and businesses to become more creative?” Explain.


Ember, S. (2021). The Boredom Economy. The New York Times, Feb. 20 (Retrievable online at