Health Team

Experiencing coronavirus fatigue, burnout?

Months of mask wearing and staying at home, the struggle to stay healthy can be wearing.

Posted Updated

Sarah Krueger
, WRAL Durham reporter
DURHAM, N.C. — Months of mask wearing and staying at home, the struggle to stay healthy can be wearing.

Dr. Becky Smith, infectious disease specialist at Duke Health, says it's so important not to let your guard down now and to stay vigilant.

Smith says it's important for a few reasons: to protect each other, to help our economy and to help kids have a better chance of going back to school this fall. Especially as we head into a holiday weekend, she urges people to keep being diligent.

Months into mask-wearing, social distancing and extreme caution due to coronavirus, some people are experiencing fatigue. WRAL's Durham reporter Sarah Krueger spoke with a doctor at Duke Hospital about why it's so important to stay diligent.

Getting out to Durham's Northgate Park is a respite for some.

Anna Neal says she is experiencing COVID-19 fatigue. She's tired of the restrictions, the closures and all the changes.

"We're not as precautious about wearing a face mask unless it's required, but we're definitely still washing our hands and using hand sanitizer," said Neal. "I don't think I've let up any, per se. I think some of them have been a little more difficult to follow. For example, I don't really know where to get a mask."

Many people are getting more comfortable even if the numbers don't support that comfort.

Smith says she has noticed some people getting more lackadaisical about best practices and the numbers are climbing. Smith reiterated, "It's important not to let up."

"We don't want businesses to be shut down again. And also we, like, really need to protect one another by wearing masks and washing our hands and doing our best," said Smith.

With Fourth of July weekend around the corner, Smith says we need to avoid the temptations of having big gatherings. She says we know that keeping distance and wearing face masks work.

And with all of us working together -- she thinks we'll get through this.

"I really want people to be optimistic. We can do this. Hang in there."

She also added one suggestion: In places where it's not practical to wear a mask, you could consider wearing a face shield. With a face shield, she says you can even eat or drink with it.


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