The WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on the 30th of January. Partial and full-scale lockdowns ensued all across the world. Businesses that were not considered “essential,” were shut down. The public was advised to isolate themselves at home and only go out for necessary supplies. Social distancing was recommended when outside, and interactions with folks outside the household were discouraged. Proper hand hygiene, the use of a sanitizer or soap to wash the hands for at least 20 seconds was advised. Later, people were asked to put on face masks when going outside. As the virus ravaged through communities, health officials urged the people to observe the recommended safety measures to slow down the spread of the infection.
What is Pandemic Fatigue?
After experiencing life in a global pandemic for around four months, it has started to feel a lot less like an emergency and more like regular, everyday life. This feeling of new normal is termed as “pandemic fatigue” or “quarantine fatigue.” The initial wave of caution and fear has slowly washed off, and now things like, putting on a mask or washing the hands properly after visiting a grocery store, are happening less often. Loss of motivation to follow the safety guidelines is a result of these sentiments. The urgency and vigilance during the earlier days of the outbreak have faded, and people have started relaxing into their old habits. This is not something new and is a regular sight, mainly observed during a hurricane season.
Quarantine or pandemic fatigue are two terms that are being used to describe the toll novel coronavirus has had on people, and how it has impacted them, both physically and psychologically. It can manifest itself as exhaustion and bodily fatigue, irritability, depression, apathy, and indifference for continuation and observation of safety measures put in place for protection. Weeks and weeks of severe stress and continued efforts people have had to exert following the announcement of lockdown, to manage this “new normal.” Living with constant tenseness, uncertainty about personal safety, and the safety of your loved ones has contributed gravely to amplify these ramifications. Other factors, such as physically being separated from friends and family, financial grimness, and the country’s socio-political situation have also had adverse effects.
Remember Frontline Heroes
This time has not been easy for essential workers like healthcare professionals, tirelessly taking care of and dealing with the patients during this pandemic. The situation surrounding the COVID-19 has been unprecedented, and it has resulted in mental tiredness and fatigue. It is a challenge that has changed life as we knew it and thrust us into uncharted territories. Unfortunately, pandemic fatigue can cause people to overlook this genuine threat, that is still present in our communities. That is why it is essential to remember the hazard we are facing. If you let the quarantine fatigue take over you and become complacent, you risk spreading the virus rapidly in your community. It will undo all of the hard work, efforts, and progress made to contain this outbreak.
Why We Need to Stay Vigilant
Over the past few months, the WHO and the CDC have regularly provided people with essential guidelines to keep themselves and their dear ones safe. The most effective measures, like proper hand hygiene, adequate social distancing, and face masks in public spaces, have contributed significantly to flatten the curve in many areas. Experts urge that the people stay vigilant and fight the pandemic fatigue, along with observation of personal safety measures that have proven successful.
Why Face Masks are Important
The use of face masks in public areas and around people, for instance, is meant to not only protect you but also the people in close proximity. Face masks play a significant role in preventing the spread of novel coronavirus, especially in asymptomatic cases. Individuals who have contracted the virus, but are unaware that they have caught the infection and are contagious, can unknowingly transmit the virus. This has been proven by various studies. Without a face mask, those who are asymptomatic can come into contact with people from high-risk groups, who are more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. People with conditions like diabetes, cancer, lung issues, and other health conditions are more susceptible to the infection. By wearing a face mask, you are playing your part in limiting the spread of the virus in your community. You can get non-medical KN95 and daily wear disposable face masks NewRain.us.
Don’t Lose Sight
Although states are working towards reopening, new cases of COVID-19 are still being reported every day. Even as the quarantine restrictions are relaxed and the lockdown is eased, try to stay at home as much as possible. Properly disinfect and change your clothes on returning home if you go outside. Continue to observe the personal safety precautions and measures like handwashing, face-covering in public and social distancing. Remember, by doing your part, you are helping the community slow the spread.