Pandemic fatigue is exhausting

Jennifer Arnold by Jennifer Arnold Additional Needs

Jennifer Arnold

Jennifer Arnold

I’m passionate about raising awareness about disability issues through education and outreach. When I’m not wearing my writer hat, I’m usually tryi...

Pandemic fatigue is exhausting

It’s been a year since the world started shutting down due to COVID-19.

A year of missing out on experiences and feeling isolated- or if you’re the parent of a medically fragile child- more isolated than usual.

With our newfound pandemic lifestyle comes frustration, exhaustion, and other struggles that are unique to each person.

If you’re feeling “over it” when it comes to masks and other safety protocols at this point, even though it may be essential for your family to follow them- you’re not alone.

Pandemic fatigue is a thing, and it’s exhausting.

With cases slowing down in many areas and the uptick of vaccinations, there does seem to be a tiny sliver of light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s still difficult.

Last Spring, we didn’t have a clue of what was to come.

Two weeks turned into months, and before we knew it, the new year was upon us, and not much had changed.

Since we have to be more careful than most because of our ten-year-old’s chronic lung disease, we had rarely left the house since the stay-at-home orders took effect last March.

We got most of our groceries delivered or did curbside pickup to avoid any crowds.

We kept all four of our kids home- they did their socializing virtually for months.

There are many elements of pandemic fatigue that create the perfect storm of exhaustion and impatience, and by the beginning of last summer, the kids were feeling it big time.

It’s hard spending so many waking hours with the same people.

With fewer options for personal space and pursuing individual interests, tension built up quickly.

With no virtual classroom to occupy them during the day, they were bored and lonely.

Working from home became more challenging.

It’s painful being in the position where you have to choose between your child’s mental and physical health.

If we let our two older boys socialize outside the house, it meant they ran the risk of bringing COVID home to their little brother.

If we didn’t, their mental health could suffer more than it already was.

We could already see the effects on our oldest teenager.

We decided to let them hang out with a small group of friends here and there as long as everyone took precautions.

It turned out to be a good decision; their attitude and emotional well-being improved drastically after spending some time with someone other than us for a couple of hours.

The pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone, and everyone copes in their own way.

We’re always going to worry about bringing germs home- that’s the nature of living with someone with compromised lungs.

As much as we’d like to keep him in a bubble, that’s not realistic.

The potential danger of COVID is genuine, but so are the effects on mental health while mitigating it.

You just have to find the right balance of what works for your family while keeping everyone as safe as possible.

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