Quarantine Fatigue: The New “Are We There Yet?”
Since the emergence of social distancing and the issuance of stay-at-home orders in March, Americans were finding their new normal with working from home, juggling school-aged children’s new learning environment and caring for loved ones in a different way.
Now, with a lot of those hurdles being figured out, “Quarantine fatigue” is the 2020 car trip question, “are we there yet?”.
While “quarantine fatigue” sounds like one of those obscure side effects from a late-night infomercial product, the mundane nature of quarantining has made us restless. We’re ready to get wherever we are going, get out of the car and stretch our legs.
To help with this, some states have recently started allowing the reopening of small businesses, personal care facilities, and churches, as well as beaches, in states like Florida, Oklahoma, California, Montana, and Alaska to get people back to work and to give the economy a bit of a boost.
Of all states Georgia has moved forward the most in reopening, allowing restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, salons, and other non-essential businesses to begin seeing customers.
It is important to note though, that just because a state is allowing businesses to reopen, not all will open due to concern for their wellbeing or that of their employees and customers.
- Is it safe to visit these businesses?
- Should I still wear a face mask?
- Is social distancing still recommended?
The answer to these questions, and others, should begin with the most important recommendation: If you don’t feel comfortable or safe visiting a local business, don’t.
Even if you have quarantine fatigue.
Areas across the country have been impacted differently by COVID-19, which is why healthcare professionals, mayors, and even federal government agencies, including White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, are advising states to continue with stay-at-home guidelines.
We are in a very unique situation and your safety, as well as the safety of your family, should be priority No. 1, and if there is any doubt about going out to eat, just continue to eat at home or get takeout.
But if you want to visit a local business, you and that business should continue to take safety precautions to protect against COVID-19, including wearing face masks and/or gloves, when possible, and practice social distancing.
Easy steps to follow include continuing to wear face masks or gloves when possible – understanding wearing a mask could make it hard to eat and wearing gloves may make it hard to get your nails done.
And as customers practice safety recommendations, so should business owners and their employees:
- Taking temperatures of customers and employees;
- Limiting the number of people allowed in at a given time;
- Utilize separate entrances and exits for patrons;
- Establish hygiene stations with soap and water or hand sanitizer; and
- Ensure that employees are washing their hands for 20-30 seconds with soap.
In time, more and more states and businesses will reopen, and our tired dad will answer from the front seat, “yes, we’re finally here.” But, until that time, it is important that we continue to follow health and safety recommendations.
“Getting Back to Work” is an ongoing series on health and safety regarding COVID-19 from Xenophon Strategies, in partnership with Dr. David Hamer, a professor at the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine with more than 30 years of experience in epidemiological diseases. Through the partnership, Xenophon is working with Dr. Hamer to provide science-based recommendations and guidance on how employers, employees, and families should best respond to and combat the COVID-19 pandemic.