Combating COVID-19 Fatigue

November 8, 2020
InVision News

Winter is fast-approaching and along with it a new wave of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. Despite all our best efforts to contain the virus, many are falling victim to “COVID fatigue”. The effects of the novel virus on our lives and relationships are taking their toll, and people have been more and more likely to disregard COVID-19 precautions like social distancing, staying home, and wearing masks. The predicted consequence of this lapse in vigilance is a rise in cases.

Positive cases and deaths from COVID-19 are much higher than they were at the beginning of the pandemic. We all want to return to some semblance of “normal”, but experts are reminding us that for at least the next year or two, this may be our new normal.

“We are living in an unexpected time,” said Dr. Michael Greisler, director of InVision Behavioral Health. “Not many of us—if any—thought that we’d be living during a pandemic; however, it is not unprecedented. The 1918 [flu] was extraordinarily deadly, but [it] did, of course, pass.”

Living in a pandemic world isn’t easy, and we don’t need to pretend that it is. Dr. Greisler explained that we must allow ourselves to be “upset, confused, nervous, or [experience] any other emotional reaction to this pandemic.” Being mindful of these feelings can help us reduce any feelings of unease and propel us toward positive coping strategies.

Coping with COVID-19 fatigue

According to Dr. Greisler, the following activities can help lower the stress the pandemic may be causing us:

  1. Try a new indoor activity like painting or journaling,
  2. Explore meditation,
  3. Engage more intensely with your faith community,
  4. Exercise, or
  5. Share your thoughts and feelings about the pandemic with trusted friends or family.

Understanding the source of our stress is the first step toward managing it, and we must remember that we’re not alone. InVision offers many resources for the people we support and staff who may be struggling in their social or work lives as a result of pandemic-related stress. Anyone who is in need of these services can contact Dr. Greisler at mgreisler@invisionhs.org or 724-933-2961, and someone will be in touch with them as soon as possible.

COVID-19 Prevention Reminders

Please continue to follow local and federal guidelines for virus prevention, and take the following steps to reduce your risk of coronavirus transmission:

  1. Wear a mask in all public settings—indoors or outdoors—and follow social distancing rules of leaving six feet between you and others (the CDC recently concluded that masks protect both the wearer and others around them)
  2. Wash your hands regularly in hot water with soap for at least 20 seconds (hand sanitizer with an alcohol percentage of 60% or more can be used in a pinch, but keep in mind it is not as effective as soap and hot water)
  3. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces often
  4. Limit outings when possible (take advantage of food and grocery delivery services to avoid crowded spaces if you can)

As we approach the holidays, please take these steps into consideration before gathering in large groups. For more information about celebrating safely, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website.

Together, we will get through this.

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