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Your Healthy Family: Fighting Pandemic Precaution Fatigue

Posted at 10:19 AM, Sep 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 12:20:01-04

CLEVELAND, OHIO — Are you growing tired of wearing a mask and social distancing?

As the pandemic continues with no end in sight, it can be difficult to maintain safe habits that feel somewhat confining.

Cleveland Clinic’s Scott Bea, PsyD, said it’s not easy, but we have to find it within ourselves to make sure our COVID-19 safety measures don’t slip.

“I call it willingness – willingness to do uncomfortable things because we value them and deem them worthwhile and they protect ourselves and those that we care about,” he said.

Over time, as we adjust to a threat and stress levels drop, it’s natural to let our guard down.

It’s important to remember though, that if we take a break on safety measures – coronavirus doesn’t, it continues infecting people.

According to experts, creating habits out of safety routines may help us maintain them without having to think about them.

Bea said when we’re fatigued we want to rest, but the more rest we get, the more fatigued we feel, so he recommends new actions or activities to help us get back on track.

“Finding a new mask, something that excites you, a new social distancing activity,” he advises. “Finding something novel and new is a way we excite our brains and it’s a way we can overcome fatigue.”

Wearing a mask, social distancing and good hand hygiene will be an important part of daily life until there’s an effective treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, and that could be awhile.

Bea reminds us that these practices are still the best ways to protect loved ones from coronavirus.