CAPE TOWN – During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the dominant reaction was that of panic, fear and anxiety.
Almost a year into the pandemic, most people have learned to live with the virus in some capacity; much of that initial reaction has disappeared, replaced by pandemic fatigue.
Since the WHO declared the coronavirus a global pandemic, the agency has acknowledged the cascading effect the health crisis has had on people, both mentally and physically.
On Monday, the agency repeated its calls for global vigilance on Monday, asking citizens to fight against “Covid-19 pandemic fatigue.”
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he understands the difficulties people are facing, but emphasized that everyone must remain mindful, especially as cases climb again in countries that once were improving.
More recently, experts in Europe and America have expressed concerns that a grim fall and winter could exacerbate the “pandemic fatigue,” where weariness over wearing masks and staying away from others only grows as cold weather forces people indoors more.
A recent study by the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Human Sciences Research Council revealed a worrying trend pointing to lower public compliance with health safety measures and ‘Pandemic Fatigue’ as South Africa desperately looks to avoid a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
“Pandemic fatigue” or “Covid fatigue” is essentially a feeling of collective burnout or exhaustion. Experts believe keeping up precautions like physical distancing, masking and handwashing can feel like more and more of a challenge.
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