It’s no secret: after more than 20 months, Quebecers are tired of hearing about a pandemic, confirms a study by the University of Sherbrooke conducted among more than 10,000 people.
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Between the over-media coverage of issues related to COVID-19 and the constant need to comply with health efforts, the province is in pandemic fatigue, the researchers concluded.
Whatever one may say, these two factors bring a certain pressure on a daily basis. And even if she maintains that the inhabitants of the Belle Province are “good” in their efforts, the author of the study, Dr. Mélissa Généreux, believes that “the wearing of the mask and the vaccination passport” have recently turned our lives upside down. .
“As the World Health Organization says, pandemic fatigue is a normal reaction. It is even expected in a context where the crisis has not finished ending, ”said Monday the professor and researcher in public health at the University of Sherbrooke, at the TVA Nouvelles at noon.
“What our study shows is that when you suffer from pandemic fatigue with several elements of fatigue related to information and behavior, you are exhausted to a fairly significant level. We are talking about half the population. ”
“For this half, in terms of psychological health, it comes to play negatively. There is more risk of anxiety, more depression. We even see problems concentrating at work or sleeping. It all comes down to morale, ”continued Dr. Généreux.
Fatigue and misinformation: vaccination takes a hit
According to Dr. Généreux, people more exhausted by the climate of a pandemic will possibly be inclined to lower their guard and comply less with health instructions.
“For example, having their child vaccinated or continuing to wear the mask. It has impacts even at the level of deeds and gestures. ”
Ironically, you would think that parents who are fed up with hearing about COVID-19 would be the first to want their children vaccinated. However, it would be the reverse according to Dr. Généreux.
“It’s the opposite. We are tired and we stop informing ourselves in the right way. We stop going to search the internet with reliable sources and we end up relying on the corridor discussions.
“We are fearful and we do not have the taste to take risks for our child, when in fact, if we had the right information, we would realize that it is the best thing to do”, underlined the researcher.
“Conspiracy trends” on the rise?
Does this mean that some might convert to “conspiracy tendencies”?
“Our data has shown it: the most tired parents adhere more easily to conspiracy trends,” noted Dr. Mélissa Généreux.
Whether stress and pandemic fatigue have long-term repercussions, Dr. Généreux believes it is premature to tell, but she sees warning signs.
“Yes, that’s what I think. It’s just a first step towards a series of studies and surveys that must be done. Chronic adversity translates into pandemic fatigue, but eventually all that chronic stress one has been forced to translate into can translate into a lot of other things. We will have to be very vigilant about that. ”
Finally, Dr. Généreux reiterates the importance of sticking together between friends and relatives, since we do not know when the pandemic will be over.
“You have to have an entourage ready to welcome (our moods) to really recognize that it is not easy. We must not be alone, ”she advised.