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Managing pandemic fatigue amid the holidays

Eight months have passed since March 11, 2020, when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. Many people are doing their best to act safely, yet the pandemic is wearing on all of us. With the disruption of so many aspects of our daily lives – remote work and school, gym and restaurant closures, restrictions on religious and community gatherings, the inability to meet safely with extended family and friends – it’s no surprise people are experiencing a sense of exhaustion.

Pandemic fatigue is a very real problem with serious consequences. The fatigue causes people to ease up on safety measures (including mask wearing, frequent hand washing, physical distancing and avoidance of social gatherings) that are necessary in protecting themselves and others. As people grow tired of the disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they can be tempted to ease up on the safe practices that are imperative to controlling the rising number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

As the temptation to let our guards down looms, we must remain vigilant and double-down on our efforts to keep ourselves, our families and our friends safe. This is especially critical as we approach the holiday season, during which social gatherings are a staple and source of joy.

Managing fatigue during the holidays

With the numbers increasing, now is the time to strengthen our collective resolve and redouble ourselves to preventative measures. As much as we want to be with family and friends over the holidays, the risk of gathering indoors during a time of rampant community spread is high and maintaining consistent use of masks and appropriate physical distancing in these gatherings is difficult. Luckily there are alternatives:

 

  • For families in warmer climates: Have small, outdoor gatherings (if permissible with local ordinances) with masks, adequate distancing and plenty of hand sanitizer.
  • For families in colder climates or in areas of the country with tighter restrictions: Virtual gatherings are a convenient and safe option.

No matter your holiday plans, please be sure to remain vigilant in washing your hands, wearing a mask and maintaining a safe distance of six feet from others. Although the upcoming holidays will certainly be different than any we’ve previously experienced, we can still have a festive and joyous season while following the safety practices that will most effectively fight back against the pandemic.

Please have a safe, happy and healthy holiday.

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