What Is Pandemic Fatigue, and How Can You Fight It?

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2020 is a year that will forever be remembered for a number of things, but the novel coronavirus pandemic is far and away the most notable, year-spanning event we endured. In the United States alone, the virus infected millions of people and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

Despite the fact that global health officials outlined clear guidelines to follow to slow the spread of the virus, the United States continued to see increasing infection numbers and broke records in daily case counts. But what was behind this difficulty in preventing COVID-19 transmission — or in exhibiting a willingness, in making a concerted effort, to try and slow it?

In November of 2020, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told NPR's All Things Considered that what medical professionals started calling "pandemic fatigue" had become a determining factor in the various surges of cases, and this emerging condition may be what’s behind the uptick in people’s surfacing disinclination to take mitigation measures seriously. But what exactly is pandemic fatigue, and what can you do to fight it? Learning more about this pandemic-induced syndrome, along with some helpful tips you can use to limit it, can empower you to protect your physical and mental health during this difficult time.