Experts warn of COVID fatigue as cases rise
OTTAWA -- With coronavirus cases rising across Canada, there are new concerns about COVID fatigue.
Expert say people are getting complacent about the rules set forth by governments and public health officials. Some people see crowded stores and wonder if the health messages are getting through.
At Costco in Barrhaven, Louise and Randy Quinn had just finished shopping. Luckily, they say, the lineups were quick and the store was not 'crazy busy'.
On Monday, Costco implemented a new policy making face coverings mandatory in stores, with no medical exemptions.
"I agree with that. I think it should be everywhere," Louise says. "I think that's the whole idea; they don't want anyone lingering too long."
However, at the Gloucester location on Saturday, shopper Marjolein Groenevelt texted her husband a photo of a line that stretched nearly to the back of the store. She says the store was following the rules, but she felt it to be 'pre-pandemic' inside.
The Toronto area has had a surge of COVID-19 cases and health officials are reminding the public not to be complacent.
Medical professionals say COVID fatigue is part of the problem. People have become tired of following the rules.
Scott Lear, a health sciences professor at Simon Fraser University, says lifestyle changes—even drastic ones—are easy to cope with in the short term. But COVID fatigue is a reflection of how challenging maintaining new habits can be.
Lear says when it comes to changing behaviours, you ideally need a supportive environment. With winter on its way, this can create further problems. People could choose to meet inside their homes as oppose to safer outdoor areas.
In his blog, Lear writes about tips, like physical activity, meditation, and talking to others to help keep on track. Lear also says it's important to think differently: realize that some things are out of your control, but do what you can to limit exposure like reducing trips to the grocery store to once a week.
"Health and the economy should be thought of as going together. You can't have a healthy economy with an unhealthy population because you're just not going to have a workforce."