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Help! I have COVID Fatigue

SHAMEELA WINSTON
It’s a real thing actually.

Covid fatigue. And it is hitting hard. Fighting it is hard, too. Covid fatigue. Because to be honest with you, I am tired of being vigilant.

Tired of being cooped up in remote working and social distancing.

Tired of the endless queues everywhere. Tired of feeling guilty about feeling tired. The impact of this thing on my life. Everything has been disrupted. My plans. My money. I’m inconvenienced. Look. I’m not an irresponsible citizen. Far from it. It’s just that I like things that have definition. Sharp edges. A beginning and an ending. I like to know the problem and find a solution that works, so that the problem is resolved and we move on to the next issue.

But Covid has forced me into a twilight zone where I don’t know what tomorrow may bring. We have to duck in and out of quarantine, and this whole song and dance about sanitising every five minutes, the whole no mask no entry thing. Yeah. I am frazzled. Tired.

How many of you reading this feel that same way, and, how many of you know yourself enough to anticipate how your behaviour will change the more fatigued you feel? Will you continue to adhere to the prescribed safety protocols, or will you start to defy the system?

Will you identify and manage your feelings in all their layers, or will you lash out at everyone around you? How are you coping on your personal level? How are you coping beyond the sanitiser and the mask?

Both the intensity and the length of time of COVID-19 stress takes a toll on everyone. And we all respond differently to the strain. Is it possible that our collective fatigue will make us careless?

It is a known fact that there are two kinds of stress that have long-term effects on our mental well-being and physical health. Intense stress and prolonged stress, and under COVID-19, we are dealing with both types. It feels as if everything is an

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unknown now.

And cruelly, everything we would do to cope with the stress and give our lives meaning has been changed or restricted.

Can’t go to the gym. Church is restricted access. Weddings and funerals. So we may avoid infection and yield to the stress related conditions…

At first we all pulled together in mutual support, but when that communal heroic spirit wears off and our stress build up starts to manifest, and we start to be negative and angry, who is going to help us?

Is that where we are as a community? Are there some of us saying we don’t care if we get infected? Some of us saying we don’t believe this thing exists anyway?

If this is where we are, I mean if I am not alone in my Covid fatigue, how can we cope and refill our reserves of positivity?

Exercise at home. Start a gratitude journal. Worship at home and follow your church online. Identify a home improvement project that you can do now and tackle it. Start a vegetable patch. Take an online course.

Document your feelings. Find a way to help somebody less fortunate, whether by running errands or donating care-packs. Give yourself a home facial. Teach your kids a game you played when you were their age.

And, where you are able to go out of your house, you have to follow the health guidelines: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and do everything else to stay safe, give your information for contact tracing.

That way, we can all keep hope alive that one day soon all this will be over. One day soon the fatigue and the stress will be a thing of the past.  Please note that comments are welcome at shameeladashboard@gmail.com.

Every effort is made to respond to individuals, and mail received is treated as confidential.

Please note however that in cases of specific work-related grievances and disputes submitted, Shameela Winston will not pronounce opinions nor prescribe remedies. Thank you.

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