Doctors: ‘Pandemic fatigue’ may be to blame for surge in coronavirus cases

Updated: Oct. 20, 2020 at 5:48 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As coronavirus cases increase nationwide, there’s new concern over what could be fueling that surge - what experts are calling “pandemic fatigue."

“I think people are getting tired of the pandemic. Unfortunately, the virus is not tired of us, and so we have to remain vigilant, but that fatigue means people are not wearing masks consistently, people are starting to gather more indoors," said Dr. Asish Jha, Brown University School of Public Health.

Coronavirus cases in 38 states and Washington, DC have increased at least 10% in the last two weeks. 30 states have risen by 25% or more.

“We getting colder weather and we’re losing that natural social distancing that happens from being outdoors and people are getting tired the American people have given so much we’re seeing mitigation fatigue right now,” explained Alex Azar, Health & Human Services Secretary.

Even though the country has seen a sharp rise in new cases this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases, is not in favor of the country shutting down again.

"They’d have to get really really bad first of all, the country is fatigued with restrictions, so we want to use public health measures not to get in the way of opening the economy but to be a safe gateway to opening the economy,” Fauci said.

The U.S. has recently averages about 700 COVID-19 deaths a day. University of Washington researchers now project more than 2,300 Americans could die every day by mid-January.

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