COVID fatigue is real – and its implications might be felt for years. But now is not the time to surrender to it, argues <em>Now-Leader</em> editor Beau Simpson.

COVID fatigue is real – and its implications might be felt for years. But now is not the time to surrender to it, argues Now-Leader editor Beau Simpson.

Column

SIMPSON: We’re all tired of COVID, so let’s finish what we started

Exhausting stream of bad news amplifies COVID fatigue but now’s not time to surrender to it

The fatigue is real.

We just marked one year since B.C. had its first case of COVID. We have since been under restrictions of some form or another. And while summer gave us all a bit of a reprieve, we find ourselves right back in the middle of a lockdown.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise to see that tightened restrictions are causing some to abandon the precautions they’ve been strictly obeying for months.

It’s human nature.

At least that’s what Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious disease expert with McMaster University told The Canadian Press.

“At the beginning of (the pandemic), we had our own personal fears that were motivating us,” said Dr. Chagla. “And now, cases are rising and it’s discouraging and there’s a breaking point for some people where they want to get out and they want to be normal again.”

The longer the pandemic lasts, he added, the likelier that constraints aimed at slowing the spread of the virus will be cast aside by those who believe they’ve already sacrificed so much.

SEE ALSO: How to combat COVID fatigue: experts say clear messaging, safe social options needed

It’s clear even in our own communities many are ready to quit. It’s easy to see why. The bad news keeps coming.

Case counts for fast-spreading COVID-19 variants tick upward across the country, even while overall numbers of new coronavirus cases fall.

Although B.C. has only had 40 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 variants first discovered in the U.K. and South Africa, Dr. Bonnie Henry says she is “dreading” the thought of them beginning to spread like wildfire.

And on Sunday, a third COVID-19 variant has emerged in Canada. Toronto Public Health says the resident who tested positive for what is being called the P.1 variant had travelled to Brazil.

And despite the massive boost of hope that news of a vaccine brought us in the New Year, subsequent stories about false promises, lack of co-ordination and vaccine deployment delays are hard to stomach, not just for people eagerly awaiting their turn getting the jab, but for us all.

I’m sure every one reading this is simply tired of it all. We have all suffered, albeit to different degrees. COVID fatigue is real – and its implications might be felt for years.

But now is not the time to surrender to it.

“We understand their fatigue. We are all fatigued,” Dr. Navdeep Grewal told the Now-Leader Thursday. “I feel it, my colleagues all feel it as well. All I can say is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We have the vaccine, different vaccines available, (and) more coming all the time.”

It’s true. In our region, Fraser Health, and Surrey in particular, is being applauded for its work to bring down COVID-19 cases since the region’s peak in the fall.

“The numbers are only going to get better,” Dr. Grewal said. “This is a year of looking forward to the end of the pandemic, and I think we are all doing a remarkable job together of getting it that way.”

We have this thing on the ropes. Let’s not throw in the towel.

Beau Simpson is editor of the Now-Leader.



beau.simpson@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow us on Twitter

ParentingSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Teachers at Maple Green Elementary in Surrey stage a walk-in before school on Wednesday (March 3, 2021), as Fraser Health continues to announce variant exposure cases at Surrey schools throughout the district. (Submitted photo: Julia MacRae)
Surrey Teachers’ Association calls for district-specific COVID-19 safety measures

STA holds third and fourth walk-ins after multiple COVID-19 variant exposures

Photo: Surrey RCMP
Surrey RCMP arrests two boys, age 16, during dial-a-dope investigation in Whalley

Sergeant Elenore Sturko said one boy is ‘alleged to have been in possession of a loaded handgun at the time of his arrest’

A proposed multi-family, multi-building development in east White Rock was the subject of a public hearing Monday evening. (City of White Rock image)
Pros and cons of White Rock housing development debated at virtual public hearing

Affordable housing need, traffic concerns among reasons cited for and against Beachway project

The new Phoenix Flame BBQ truck serves as a “Mobile Community Kitchen” in the Surrey area. (Photo: phoenixsociety.com)
New ‘Phoenix Flame BBQ’ truck now mobile with food for Surrey’s ‘hard-to-reach populations’

Also launched: Another Surrey Honda Raffle to help the Surrey-based agency and others

BC Human Rights Tribunal. (The Canadian Press)
Human rights tribunal rejects complaint against Surrey brewery

Tribunal dismisses former worker’s claim he was bullied because of his ethnicity

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Emergency crews are on scene at Walnut Grove Secondary School after a report of a bomb threat at Walnut Grove Secondary School on March 3, 2021. The school was safely evacuated. (Shane MacKichan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: Bomb threat forces evacuation of Langley high school

Police asked the public to avoid 88th Avenue and Walnut Grove Drive

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Most Read