Pandemic fatigue could create problems down the line, health expert cautions

Poll reveals about a quarter of Americans say they are worried about hospital resources

Woman wearing mask
Woman wearing mask

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Pandemic fatigue: It’s a phrase we’ve all heard and now a new poll reveals just how bad it is.

For mother Dia Harris, that fatigue set in early.

“For me, after like the second month of being cooped in the house, nowhere to go, nobody to talk to but children," Harris said.

Gallup’s most recent survey about Americans' attitudes on COVID-19 found 49% of U.S. adults say they are either very worried (10%) or somewhat worried (39%) about contracting the coronavirus. That is the lowest level of concern recorded since mid-June.

“What could be lulling people into a sense of false security is the fact that the hospitalization numbers in Florida are flat. We’re really not increasing at the rate that other states are -- and particularly not in Duval (County),” Chad Neilsen, UF Health Jacksonville director accreditation and infection prevention.

That same Gallup poll revealed about a quarter of Americans say they are worried about hospital resources. That is less of almost half of what it was in mid-July.

Neilsen warns a lax mentality and fatigue now could create problems down the line.

“That’s not to say we couldn’t have a second hospitalization wave here in Florida," Neilsen said. "That’s why it’s so important not to get lulled into this false sense of security.”

But at the same time, Neilsen understands everyday life must go on. For Harris, that means going back to work and her children back to school.

“I tell them to keep their mask on, wash their hands and be safe," she said.

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