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Are we reaching coronavirus fatigue?

Three weeks in and many don't know how to feel about their reality being the new normal.

SAN DIEGO — Three weeks into the stay-at-home orders and coronavirus fatigue might be setting in, and as we head into another weekend, it may start to feel more like a reality.

It hit me on Wednesday night, cramped in a news vehicle that I have been working out of three weeks. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful I have a job, but I just felt over it. 

I felt like the novelty of the coronarvirus wore off. 

Remember only a few weeks ago when the studies were coming out? 

People were starting to wash their hands more often. New cases were being reported. Long lines and empty shelves were seen at grocery stores across the country. Social gatherings went from 250 to zero. 

It was an adrenaline of information that has slowed down, and it has become our new normal. It has become our reality. 

“Today and over the weekend we are asking folks to take that deep breath,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Meditate, breath, do online yoga or workouts from your living room.

“Even if you do a ten minute walk once a day, it makes a clinical difference,” said Theresa Hardesty, M.D., Sharp Reese-Stealy, pediatrician and certified lifestyle medicine physician.

There are only so many closets we can clean, Netflix shows to watch, Zoom chats with family and friends - all of which I love. 

I posted the dilemma on Facebook and Instagram to share my feelings about coronavirus fatigue.

Coronavirus fatigue

Why do I feel like this?

Posted by Abbie Alford on Friday, April 3, 2020

Alita said, “I have good days, and days where I do not feel like pivoting or doing something that would brighten someone else’s day.”

David on Facebook wrote: “I feel like reality is setting in this week for me as well.”

Lucy Jean offered some advice: “I write a schedule every day and try to find things to 1. Keep everybody in the house focused on something 2. Schedule family interaction time and 3. Try really hard to not think too far ahead.”

“This hasn’t been easy. This hasn’t been easy for any family who is all going through this,” said Faulconer.

During the mayor’s media briefing on Friday, mental health experts were on hand to talk about ways we could mentally and physically get through this.

“For many people limiting news consumption and social media,” Dr. David Folsom, Director for the Division of Clinical Psychiatry and Vice Chair for the Clinical Affairs Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego Health. 

Working from home has some feeling like they don’t have work and home boundaries and working 24/7. 

Dr. Cathryn Nacario recommends a designated workspace and a regular work routine like you would have at the office. 

“Keep normal work hours as much as possible and get dressed for work,” said Nacario, CEO National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Alcohol sales are up, but doctors recommend you lighten up the booze and eat healthy. Try adding more fruits and veggies than non-healthy foods on your plate.

Doctors also recommended that you get a good night’s rest and by doing that you can warm up your feet for better circulation.

“Most of all be kind to yourself and others and be safe both mentally and physically health,” said Nacario.

 NAMI San Diego is moving its mental health resources including support groups, classes and parenting sessions to an online platform. Additional resources provided by NAMI San Diego can be found at namisandiego.org. For those experiencing crisis, the NAMI San Diego Helpline offers trained peer and family support specialists at 1-800-523-5933. The 24/7 Access and Crisis Line can be reached at 888-724-7240. For San Diego resources, residents can also call 2-1-1 or visit 211sandiego.org.

The San Diego County YMCA is serving residents with the goal of providing a safe place to nurture and uplift all people. 

With a team of mental health professionals, the YMCA has implemented a Virtual YMCA where residents can access workout classes as well as mental health and childcare services affordably. Additional resources can be found at YMCASD.org

The City encourages residents and businesses to continue to abide by directives outlined by the City, County and State, including to stay at home with the exception of necessary activities or working to support essential businesses. All San Diego-operated parks, beaches, bays, trails and boardwalks are currently closed to the public.

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