TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida has the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the country with nearly 950,000 infections since the pandemic began. Infectious disease experts say ‘pandemic fatigue’ is partly to blame for the second wave of COVID-19.
We hear the phrase a lot, so what exactly does it mean? Simply put, pandemic fatigue is the feeling of burnout from constantly being on guard because of the coronavirus and sometimes it turns into complacency.
Doctors warn that now is the time to recommit to proven prevention measures so we can flatten the second surge of infections.
Mask wearing is one of those measures. Isaias Gonzales of St. Pete takes it seriously. He’s part of the 12 million people in the U.S. who have contracted COVID-19.
“I had a fever for a couple days. My wife also tested positive for COVID,” said Gonzales.
His grandmother, Herlinda, is one of the 250,000 people in the country who’ve died from the virus.
The pandemic taken an emotionally and physical toll on Gonzales.
“It does get tiresome at times,” he said.
Dr. Manuel Gordillo with Sarasota Memorial says pandemic fatigue is one of the factors behind the forceful second surge in COVID-19 cases we’re now experiencing.
“It’s been 10 months; everyone is going through pandemic fatigue,” said Gordillo.
He says it’s time to strengthen our resolve and be diligent in doing what’s scientifically proven to protect us from the coronavirus.
“Physical distancing, hand hygiene, and mask use,” he said.
We asked a few people around Tampa how they were feeling as the pandemic continues.
“I’m good about washing my hands. Wearing a mask? Sometimes, I forget it,” said Jaime Salazar.
“It takes a toll but I don’t think I’m tired, I’m a pretty hygienic person,” said Devon Quist.
“I believe that masks and the washing of the hands will help get us t where we’re trying to go,” said Rosalind Parks.
Holiday gathering, says Dr. Gordillo, will really test our limits and recommends virtual celebrations or gatherings with plenty of air circulation.
“If you can do activities outdoors, that’s going to be much better,” he said.
Having experience grief and sickness, Gonzales is focused on safety during the holidays.
“You have to be smart and hopefully we’ll all get through this together.”