Do You Have COVID Caution Fatigue?

Even among the most willing to take all necessary precautions to keep themselves, their loved ones, and their communities safe during the pandemic, many are growing weary of staying vigilant.  It’s not uncommon for people to experience coronavirus caution fatigue, but healthcare professionals are asking for continued proper wearing of face masks, good hand hygiene, and physical distancing as cases surge.  

Many people may have caught themselves relaxing lately on their good safety habits, standing too close to friends or family outside their social bubble, embracing a loved one, or touching their face with unwashed hands.  It’s natural after months under threat of exposure or transmission of COVID-19 for our bodies to find ways to cope with the chronic stress of potential danger.  According to a recent Cleveland Clinic Mental Health post, because the pandemic threat does not place us in imminent danger, people have adapted and found ways to create a new normal.   The fight or flight response has diminished and most people are trying to get on with the business of daily living. 

After nearly nine months of pandemic quarantine, people become desensitized to the very real threat of the coronavirus.   Day-to-day worries become more in the forefront and we can easily become lax in our preventative health habits.   But as we approach the holiday season and spend more time indoors, it’s important to reframe the risk to our health in order to stay well and keep others safe. 

Get Back to Good Habits

  • Make it a habit to wash your hands every time you return home.
  • Keep a stash of clean masks in the car or your purse…no excuses. 
  • Take a few steps back from others while outside the home.
  • Find ways to manage stress with meditation, exercise, and outdoor activities.
  • Talk it out – sharing your experiences with others helps support good habits.  
  • Reconsider holiday gathering plans.  The safest way to celebrate is with people in your household.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with increases in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, gatherings during the upcoming winter holidays should be limited to those who are currently members of your household.  Gathering indoors with people who do not live with you increases the risk for the spread of the virus and should be avoided especially by older adults and people with underlying health problems that put them at increased risk for severe illness. 

Read more about considerations for hosting or attending a gathering, travel, overnight stays, and how to cope with stress and isolation by following this link to the CDC website.