Pandemic Fatigue – It’s real
November 12, 2020, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
Since the initial fear in February when our nation was locked down almost completely to an almost national sadness, Canadians emotions have run the gambit. We moved from knowing almost nothing about the COVID-19 virus to now understanding more about who is in the most danger. The economy has suffered greatly but is making rebounds in some sectors. Others like restaurants, gyms, travel, and tourism have been gutted.
It seems the cascade of cancellations of all kinds of events from live music concerts and community events to Santa Claus parades is never-ending. Weddings, funerals, and religious celebrations – events that most of us hold important to our family and spiritual well being are also severely curtailed.
Many of us who were scared and willing to comply with the initially harsh restrictions of the pandemic shutdown has become tired, depressed, and fatigued of the restrictions. It’s easy to cope with a bad event when we have an end date to look forward to. A tow week quarantine followed by a normal life afterward isn’t nice but it is manageable. An ongoing 8 month-long restricted life has left Canadians with fiscal and emotional troubles that most have never before seen.
Calls for mental health help, for financial relief, and support of other kinds are at record highs. The CAMH reports that as a result of COVID-19:
- 50% of Canadians reported worsening mental health since the pandemic began
- 44% feel worried
- 41% feel anxious
- 81% of employed individuals reported that the pandemic is negatively impacting their mental health
- Substance use is also on the rise in Canada during COVID-19
- 25% of Canadians aged 35-54 and 21% of those aged 18-34 have increased their alcohol consumption since social distancing and self-isolation due to COVID-19
- Canadians who described their mental health as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ were more likely than those with better mental health to have increased their use of alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco during the early stages of the pandemic
These are all disturbing statistics. They are indicators of a growing sense of helplessness and ‘pandemic fatigue’. We have become tired. Going to the store, lining up, wearing masks, having our temperatures taken, and the difficulties of working at home are taking their toll. Social isolation, technological difficulties, financial crises, and health problems due to lack of access to regularly required treatments and tests are compounding the problems.
Those who have substance use issues are homeless or in precarious housing situations are suffering even more. Death rates among addicts are up. The use of food banks is at record highs. For people who take public transit to work or live in high rise apartment buildings just leaving the home and going to work has become a life-threatening exercise.
March break was 6 months long. Children and families suffered. School is back now, but outbreaks are occurring in almost all schools. This too is stressful. Extra-curricular activities are all but gone, children are masked and distanced.
This long stretch of chronic stress impacts the function of the brain. Emotions, abstract thought and energy levels are severely impacted. Anxiety and fatigue have set in for most of us.
What can we do to help ourselves and loved ones?
- Take regular breaks daily to exercise and clear your mind
- Eat well
- Limit the consumption of drugs, alcohol, and caffeine
- Sleep regularly
- Limit your intake of news and social media
- Set aside time in your day to do what you enjoy – puzzles, knitting, cooking, reading, etc.
- Set a goal of trying or learning something new. Winter is coming – is it time to take up a new hobby?
- Consider an online book club with your friends
- Get help if you cannot put the negative thoughts aside. There are helplines, clergy, and counselors available 24 hours a day if you are in crisis.
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About Deutschmann Law
Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.