“This is a marathon not a sprint”: How to deal with COVID-19 fatigue


"Keep pushing... wear your mask, wash your hands and keep your distance"

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — Many of you may be having a tough time following COVID-19 safety guidelines but this could also be contributing to the continued rise in cases.

Some health experts are calling it coronavirus fatigue or pandemic fatigue. Some people exhausted by the isolation, the restrictions and the uncertainty of this health crisis. Many are following the rules out in public but not so much behind closed doors.

Fayetteville Public Health officer, Dr. Marti Sharkey said some people are just tired of hearing about COVID-19, having to wear a mask and not being able to see their loved ones as freely as they did before the pandemic.

She said as humans we have a need to connect and be with our friends and family. She believes people are letting their guards down when getting together, meeting in large groups and not practicing social distancing.

The need to get together will only increase during the holiday season potentially putting even more people at risk.

Dr. Sharkey said although people are ready to get back to their normal lives, the reality is there’s much more at stake if people don’t follow the safety guidelines.

“It’s easier to say we don’t want to deal with this but unfortunately, the virus is still here and we still need to take it seriously… we still have to do the viral mitigation strategies.” 

Dr. Sharkey said she understands the need to be with your loved ones and just encourages people to do it in a safe way and model good behavior; keep your social circle small, limit the gatherings and meet outdoors.

“If you’re wearing your mask when you’re sitting with your friends, they will probably put it on versus if you both leave it off then you have the risk of spreading it.”

Dr. Gary Berner with Community Clinic said taking care of your mental health is important during these tough times. He recommends breaking your day with walks outdoors, exercise, eating right and getting enough rest.

“Find ways to keep some community and social distance in a safe way,  keep some of those connections so you don’t feel too isolated,” said Dr. Berner.

Both recommend making use of face-time, video conferencing tools and phone calls.

Dr. Berner said we are living through challenging times and we need to continue to take care of each other and reminds us to be kind to one another.

Dr. Sharkey said the virus is widespread throughout our communities and it will take a marathon state of mind to make it to the finish line not a sprint.

Sh said that means a lot of sacrifices have to continue to be made and people need to take personal responsibility in reducing the spread of the coronavirus to really make a difference.

Her advice keep pushing, wear your mask, wash your hands and keep your distance.

Just remember to take it a day at a time. If you find yourself in a dark space and you cannot get out of it make sure to speak to a mental health professional.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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