Public health experts term this phenomenon “pandemic fatigue” and cite it as a contributor to the increase in incidence rates being witnessed here and in Europe. Understanding pandemic fatigue is challenging because it is not one phenomenon and likely stems from several causes. However, pandemic fatigue also occurs for people who are ostensibly on board with societal attempts to control spread of the virus. Despite its name, pandemic fatigue in these cases is not really about exhaustion or tiredness or depleting a mental resource. One fundamental facet of pandemic fatigue is motivational in nature and is related to the demands life during a pandemic places on our systems for cognitive control and the mental effort costs this incurs.