Pandemic fatigue describes the feeling of exhaustion and burnout we’ve reached after over a year of having our lives turned upside down by the COVID-19 virus. It’s a very real feeling brought on by the effects of the pandemic on our life including restricted activity, limited social life, hyper-vigilance and exhaustive virtual interaction.
It’s understandable that we’re all feeling tired of the limits that have been placed on our lives. We’re tired of wearing masks, disinfecting, physical distancing, being away from family and friends, and increasingly fed up with the “new normal” routines. We don’t know when life will return to “normal” or if life after the pandemic will ever return to “normal.” Although vaccines have given us hope, all those months of stress and uncertainty have taken a toll on our emotional health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines pandemic fatigue as a “lack of motivation to follow health protocols which develops slowly over time as an expected and natural response to a prolonged public health crisis.”
The WHO believes that more than half of the world’s population is experiencing pandemic fatigue which can lead to careless behaviours and a sharp rise in cases. For example, you may find yourself becoming less concerned about wearing a mask in public and maintaining proper handwashing. Or you could be less careful about social distancing practices.