Return-to-school anxiety heightens pandemic fatigue, Hinshaw says

As Albertans head into the long weekend, Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledges this week has been one of the most difficult since the province reported its first case of COVID-19 six months ago.

“I think it’s quite normal for people to feel tired, especially with back-to-school and heightened worries about what will happen,” Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said Thursday.

“I think it exacerbates some of that frustration, some of the fear, some of the feeling of perhaps … this is something that we can’t see the end of.”

On March 5, the province reported its first presumptive case of COVID-19. Six months, 14,310 cases and 242 deaths later, many Albertans are suffering from pandemic fatigue, Hinshaw said.

“I’ve been asked that quite a few times, ‘Well, what’s the end? What do we have to look forward to?’ And so it’s totally natural that people are feeling frustrated.”

“I guess what I would say to people who are feeling tired of the pandemic, tired of hearing me talk every day, tired of hearing about COVID-19, just want it all to go away … I sympathize. I, too, wish that it would just go away.”

Hinshaw suggests people take a break from thinking and reading about COVID-19 and devote more attention to what renergizes them.

“Try to unplug, relax, and just give yourself a break from the constant stream,” she said. “The reality is we do need to pace ourselves because we do need to be looking for a time when we either have an effective and safe vaccine or an effective treatment that can reduce the risk of severe outcomes for those who get very ill.” 

On Friday, Hinshaw will update Albertans on COVID-19 before the final long weekend of summer.

CBC will carry the news conference here live at 3:30 p.m.

Alberta currently has 1,415 active cases of COVID-19 with 46 people being treated in hospital, including nine in ICU beds.

View Source