We as a society share some collective aftermaths of the pandemic. Whether it is the continued social distancing, virtual learning, vaccinations or reduced business hours, we all feel some of the same burdens and inconveniences.
But the individual effects can be vastly different. We all deal with stress in different ways. After more than a year of coping with our societal changes, some are feeling the frustrations of pandemic fatigue and burnout.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines pandemic fatigue as an expected and natural response to a prolonged public health crisis that calls for the implementation of invasive measures with an impact on everyone’s daily lives.
Some of us may show our responses through frustration, burnout, tiredness, disinterest, anger or sadness.
We have adapted to a plethora of changes in the past year. Our campus is physically and emotionally not the same SU as it was before March 2020.
Some professors are exhausted with teaching courses online. Some students find themselves uninterested and unmotivated when outside of the classroom. There is a disconnect — a loss of personal attachment to our education.
The Rocket, Slippery Rock University’s student newspaper, reported that Shippensburg University’s COVID-19 coronavirus cases rank second highest in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). Bloomsburg and Edinboro universities remained close in case numbers.
The warmer weather and relaxed government and health guidance can allow us to temporarily rationalize tossing away one’s mask and trying to return to our old lives.
Whether the perceived increase in cases are due to increased testing availability, student behavior or more students on-campus at in-person classes, we must maintain our efforts to finish the semester strong.
We must not let all of the sacrifices made so far succumb to our itch to take the mask off and disregard any measures.
When a health provider prescribes a patient antibiotics, they tell the patient that they must finish the entire 14-day bottle.
The patient says, “I will,” in the doctor’s office. But when the patient gets home they may not follow through.
Some patients stop taking the antibiotics when they “feel better,” before the bottle is empty. This can create antibiotic-resistant bacteria — and in the long-run, more problems for the patient.
Finishing the prescribed antibiotics is important to complete battling the infection.
The same is true in the pandemic. We cannot think we have “taken enough of the antibiotics” and go back to our old ways. We must follow through and completely solve the crisis we face.