Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

I, too, suffer from COVID-19 fatigue


October 28, 2020

I confess that I suffer from COVID-19 fatigue.

COVID-19 fatigue is just being fed up with the masking, the distancing, the constant hand-washing, the closings and the cancellations that preventing the spread of COVID-19 still requires. Now, egged on by loud, highly placed non-medical voices, some are even starting to ignore guidelines that have been proven effective.

And they seem to be getting sick in droves.

COVID-19 fatigue probably accounts for spikes in new COVID-19 cases in the country, New Mexico and even Quay County, where we reached 99 cases as of Saturday, according to the state Department of Health.

As Santa Rosa's Dr. Randal Brown, a candidate for the New Mexico House of Representatives, told me a couple weeks ago, “We might be tired of the virus, but the virus isn't tired of us."

Carisa Parrish, a psychologist with the Johns Hopkins University Medical School, observed, ”Keeping up with it all can be overwhelming, Sustained behavior change is hard. Especially when no one around you is sick, and you just don't feel like wearing a mask or saying no to things you like to do. But the fact is, the precautions work.”

There's no shortage of advice on how to keep up the fight against the viciously contagious, potentially deadly novel coronavirus, which pays no attention to Constitutional rights or how cool you might be.

Here is a sampling of advice on how to overcome COVID-19 fatigue and keep up the vigilance from a variety of sources.

Experts at the University of California, Davis, recommend:

• Exercise. It makes you stronger and reduces stress.

• Talking out your frustrations with a friend (at a safe distance, of course).

• Thinking positive thoughts. To quote Oddball, Donald Sutherland's character in “Kelly's Heroes,” “Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?”

• Practice mindfulness, which is taking time to relax and focus on the here-and-now, accepting the way things are.

• Laugh.

Parrish at Johns Hopkins offers these tips:

• Commit to COVID-19 safety habits as you would to using seatbelts and wearing a helmet when you ride a bike. “You want to do the right thing to keep yourself and others safe.”

• Stay flexible. Things will change for better or worse. I keep hearing about a “dark winter” that combines the flu and COVID-19. Parrish recommends we expect anything and be prepared with necessary supplies like masks and hand sanitizer.

• With kids, let them make some choices on matters like mask style and give them authority to remind even adults to practice COVID-19 prevention.

Experts working with NBC's Today Show offer this advice:

• Don't rely on drugs and alcohol or other harmful activities to cope with COVID-19 fatigue.

• Stick to healthy routines.

• Show gratitude, and keep the story you tell yourself optimistic.

• Allow some grief. It's OK to miss people, football games, gathering and crowds and not having to worry about masks, distancing and constant hygiene.

Nobody likes the changes brought on by COVID-19, but I hope this advice can help keep up the fight.

Steve Hansen writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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