Pandemic fatigue impacting mental health
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - We’ve all made adjustments to our lives due to COVID. We all probably assumed it would be for a short period of time. Here we are five months later and we still don’t know when things will completely go back to normal. All of the stress from the pandemic can take a mental toll.
When the pandemic hit our area, we saw pictures of healthcare workers, messages of thanks to our front line heroes, survivors of COVID leaving the hospital, and even positive messages left on sidewalks.
“There was a lot of rallying that people were doing,” Dr. Stephen Taylor, chief medical officer at UofL Peace Hospital, said.
Dr. Taylor says all of this typically happens in the early stages of a disaster. As one goes on, like with this pandemic, and it lingers people can start to lose hope.
“We start to become disillusioned there is a feeling that it’s never going to get any better,” Dr. Taylor said.
Five months into COVID, the light at the end of the tunnel may be hard to see.
“It feels like it’s never going to end,” Dr. Taylor said. “The emotional state dips very low a lot lower than the despondency we felt early on.”
We’ve heard the messages of “we’re in this together” but, for how long? Dr. Taylor says it’s hard to think about what things will look like a year from now. Pandemic struggles have been going on for months now and everyone’s struggle is different from work, kids, health, to lack of a social life. Many people are experiencing depression, some for the first time. So, how do we get out of this lull?
“I do think it’s important for us to really work at thinking about that this not going to be forever,” Dr. Taylor said.
Dr. Taylor says to focus on what you can manage and find ways to decompress. For kids, they feed off the energy of adults.
“Try to be positive with our kids that will help them,” Dr. Taylor said. “If we can be optimistic that will help the kids.”
Optimism can go a long way. Dr. Taylor says this pandemic is like a marathon.
"When you first start the race you are very excited but, when you are two or three miles into it, you aren't sure you like running anymore," Dr. Taylor said. "But, you stick with it and make it. I think that's where we are. I think that's my reassurance to everybody keep your feet moving and you will make it."
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