Fighting through COVID fatigue and pandemic burnout

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 10:33 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The pandemic has had the world in its grasp for nearly two years, and the fight is far from over. Stress and frustration brought on by the ongoing pandemic is resulting in what’s called “COVID fatigue.”

We’re getting to a point where people are simply tired of having to follow safety precautions and dealing with the pandemic.

Experts say people are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

“We are so long now into the pandemic and none of us are probably seeing the hope that we thought,” Wausau Centre for Well Being Director Noreen Salzman said.

Salzman said people’s tolerance of restrictions during the pandemic has gone down.

At the beginning of summer, there was a small window of normalcy, giving folks hope. Now that window is quickly closing, along with people’s patience.

“We’re running out of all of the initial coming together that we had last year at this time,” Salzman said.

Salzman also said stress and anxiety in people contributes to the fatigue and in the upcoming winter, it will only get worse. She said finding serenity is best. Taking walks, meditating, talking with friends, or even a therapist.

“I think we need to find those ways to identify what helps calm us and do some of those things,” Salzman said.

The changing seasons also mean holidays are on the way. The CDC is recommending the safest ways to celebrate this year. The agency said everyone who is eligible should get vaccinated.

“With vaccines now available, it is very preventable. So the more people that can get vaccinated before the holidays, the better off we will be,” said Megan Moze with Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Moze said COVID cases typically rise during large gatherings. She said if you’re nor vaccinated it’s best to keep the groups to a minimum, wear a mask, and stay socially distant. These precautions will keep you and others safe along with helping relieve stress on the health systems.

“I have concerns about our health care workers. Our health care workers are stretched to the brink, and they are tired and exhausted and they’ve been doing this for almost two years now,” Moze said.

Moze also said to try and have more ventilation inside, or have celebrations outside, if possible.

To see the full list of 2021 CDC holiday recommendations, click here.

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