JulieB By: JulieB
Lecturer in Global Health
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23 Apr 2020 : Is pandemic fatigue setting in?

It's 4 minutes past 8pm on a Thursday evening. I eagerly clapped for essential workers, as I do every Thursday at 8pm, togheter with many across the UK. Tonight I actually went out at 7pm in error, only to find NO ONE there. I panicked - have we stopped clapping/caring? Then I realised I was an hour early... 

Returning shortly before 8pm though I was sad to find similarly few people clapping. In the last weeks we've gone out almost religiously to show our appreciation, and if I can be honest, to catch up with our neighbours briefly. I've enjoyed the gratitude as well as the connection with others that comes from that gesture. Tonight though, there were less of us, not only in my neighbourhood but also in the city - usually we can hear the claps and the fireworks from across the streets but today it was noticeably quieter. 

Now I wonder, has pandemic fatigue set in, even before we have really even "flattened the curve"? 

Are we forgetting those who continue to put their lives at risk every single day, and those who have sadly lost their lives already? Once the restrictions lift, will we just go back to our normal routines too quickly - thereby risking a further peak later on?

Perhaps people just forgot it was Thursday today, after all it's hard to keep track sometimes. 

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