COVID fatigue is real – and its implications might be felt for years. But now is not the time to surrender to it, argues <em>Now-Leader</em> editor Beau Simpson.

COVID fatigue is real – and its implications might be felt for years. But now is not the time to surrender to it, argues Now-Leader editor Beau Simpson.

Column

SIMPSON: We’re all tired of COVID, so let’s finish what we started

Exhausting stream of bad news amplifies COVID fatigue but now’s not time to surrender to it

The fatigue is real.

We just marked one year since B.C. had its first case of COVID. We have since been under restrictions of some form or another. And while summer gave us all a bit of a reprieve, we find ourselves right back in the middle of a lockdown.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise to see that tightened restrictions are causing some to abandon the precautions they’ve been strictly obeying for months.

It’s human nature.

At least that’s what Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious disease expert with McMaster University told The Canadian Press.

“At the beginning of (the pandemic), we had our own personal fears that were motivating us,” said Dr. Chagla. “And now, cases are rising and it’s discouraging and there’s a breaking point for some people where they want to get out and they want to be normal again.”

The longer the pandemic lasts, he added, the likelier that constraints aimed at slowing the spread of the virus will be cast aside by those who believe they’ve already sacrificed so much.

SEE ALSO: How to combat COVID fatigue: experts say clear messaging, safe social options needed

It’s clear even in our own communities many are ready to quit. It’s easy to see why. The bad news keeps coming.

Case counts for fast-spreading COVID-19 variants tick upward across the country, even while overall numbers of new coronavirus cases fall.

Although B.C. has only had 40 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 variants first discovered in the U.K. and South Africa, Dr. Bonnie Henry says she is “dreading” the thought of them beginning to spread like wildfire.

And on Sunday, a third COVID-19 variant has emerged in Canada. Toronto Public Health says the resident who tested positive for what is being called the P.1 variant had travelled to Brazil.

And despite the massive boost of hope that news of a vaccine brought us in the New Year, subsequent stories about false promises, lack of co-ordination and vaccine deployment delays are hard to stomach, not just for people eagerly awaiting their turn getting the jab, but for us all.

I’m sure every one reading this is simply tired of it all. We have all suffered, albeit to different degrees. COVID fatigue is real – and its implications might be felt for years.

But now is not the time to surrender to it.

“We understand their fatigue. We are all fatigued,” Dr. Navdeep Grewal told the Now-Leader Thursday. “I feel it, my colleagues all feel it as well. All I can say is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We have the vaccine, different vaccines available, (and) more coming all the time.”

It’s true. In our region, Fraser Health, and Surrey in particular, is being applauded for its work to bring down COVID-19 cases since the region’s peak in the fall.

“The numbers are only going to get better,” Dr. Grewal said. “This is a year of looking forward to the end of the pandemic, and I think we are all doing a remarkable job together of getting it that way.”

We have this thing on the ropes. Let’s not throw in the towel.

Beau Simpson is editor of the Now-Leader.



beau.simpson@surreynowleader.com

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