Saturday, March 6

“Pandemic fatigue”: This is the chronic stress that makes us fed up with the coronavirus



We are a few weeks to a year since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in the world. After their arrival in China, it was in March that border closures and home confinements began to be decreed.

It seems like yesterday when we went out to applaud in Spain at eight o’clock in the afternoon those who were fighting in the front line against the virus or when supermarkets ran out of toilet paper stocks and we discovered what it meant to “flatten the curve”.

Twelve months of constant struggle, fear, severe restrictions, and little or no contact with our loved ones. Twelve months of hearing the deaths of thousands of people around the globe every day as if it were a world war.

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This incessant fight against the virus, beyond the relative freedom that we unconsciously enjoy during the summer months, starts to make a dent.

Can you imagine having to live now a quarantine or a new confinement?

As things stand, the figures still warn us that a new confinement may touch us. It happens every day to thousands of people. A close contact that has proved positive … and we have to confine ourselves at home, once again. Something psychologically very difficult because we are tremendously tired of so much confinement.

How to deal with a new confinement?

The experts give us some essential tips for us to be able to face that reality, in case the time comes.

Because there are solvent forms of deal with that uncertainty that stars in our days and even to end those sleep or concentration problems that so many people are suffering from due to multiple confinements and movement limitations.

That is why we provide several advice from leading experts who have shared in recent months their experiences and their methods of dealing with lockdowns.

Here we gather some of the most outstanding tips:

  • “Be kind to yourself.” Nina Burrowes, Consent Collective Psychologist: “What we are going through is part of our human experience. We only have the ability to experience joy because we experience pain, so this is the dark side of so many beautiful things. Being as kind as possible to ourselves and not looking for the quick and easy solution will help us overcome the trance ”.
  • “Use stress management techniques.” Steven Taylor, clinical psychologist at Columbia University: “You should be aware of the warning signs that mark your stress levels, such as difficulty sleeping, increased irritability, mood swings, overeating … It is important that if you notice these warning signs, you try to put remedy as soon as possible with guidelines such as talking with friends and family, having a regular sleep, a healthy diet and physical exercise. You can also implement various forms of relaxation exercises such as meditation or yoga.
  • “Explore your creativity.” Terry Waite, author and humanitarian who was kidnapped in Lebanon for 1,763 days, most of them held hostage in solitary confinement: “What you have to do in the confinement is to keep yourself mentally alive. In my own situation, when I was kidnapped, I was in very strict solitary confinement that lasted five years and I dedicated myself to writing my first book. I used my imagination to write stories and kept my mind moving. Must also learn to live in the moment and not think too much about the future. I thought my days in captivity were a waste of time, but they weren’t. I was discovering creative abilities that I had that I didn’t know I had. This current situation may seem like a waste of time, but it is not if you can take advantage of it at a later stage ”.

The mind plays tricks on us very often and in these times that we have had to live, the chances of this happening are increasing.

As time passes and we do not return to what we understand as normal life, fatigue increases and strength falters.

The COVID-19 pandemic has huge side effects.

Pandemic fatigue and its effects

They are already many months in tow with the coronavirus pandemic. Many workers have not set foot in their offices for almost a year, many families and friends have long awaited the long-awaited reunion. People are largely exhausted.

The scourge of COVID-19 is lasting longer than we had initially programmed ourselves to think and this makes the fatigue weigh even more.

British Psychologists as Emma Kavanagh they recognize as a social reality the fact that “we had an initial layer of physical and mental strength to face the restrictions and effects of the coronavirus, and it has simply been exhausted.”

This process of exhaustion is known as’psychological hibernation‘, according to Dr. Kavanagh: “our concentration becomes slow and we find it more difficult to pay attention. Also, we have sleep and memory problems ”.

“The stress of a pandemic is related to its duration. People are exposed to chronic stressors as pandemics drag on for many months and multiple lockdowns. That wears out ”. This general feeling has been defined by the World Health Organization as pandemic fatigue.

With the end of the total confinements of March and the return, although restrained, to the streets during the summer, a good part of the population ended up thinking that the worst was over and that the pandemic was a thing of the past.

The second and third waves have, for this reason, had a greater impact on the minds of many. We have had, according to the experts, a sense of reward taken away. As if the collective effort had been of no use.

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