coronavirus

Doctors Warn Pandemic Fatigue Fueling COVID-19 Case Surge

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With COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise, it's no surprise that doctors are reminding people despite school openings, the return of sports and many businesses opening back up, that the pandemic isn't over yet.

However, pandemic fatigue, has set in.

"Unfortunately, this fatigue translates into relaxation of those three pandemic commandments: wearing the masks, keeping physical distance and washing hands frequently and the results are what we are seeing," said Dallas County Medical Society president Dr. Mark Casanova.

According to the latest projections from UT Southwestern, if the trend continues, there will be 1,250 new infections a day in Dallas county and 1,000 new daily cases in Tarrant County by Oct. 27.

The number of people in the hospital will reach the levels seen in early August.

With COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise, it’s no surprise that doctors are reminding people despite school openings, the return of sports and many businesses opening back up, that the pandemic isn’t over yet. NBC 5’s Allie Spillyards reports.

"The really big factor is the density of the population, with the virus jumping from person to person. It's a lot easier with people packed closer together," said Parkland Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Chang about the reason the increase is higher in Dallas and Tarrant Counties compared to surrounding counties.

Denton and Collin counties have seen a smaller uptick in COVID-19 hospital admissions, but experts point out that often times, severely-ill patients are taken to the bigger Dallas and Tarrant County hospitals.

Doctors say they’re not surprised by the increase in COVID-19 cases and in the number of people being hospitalized, considering many restrictions have been lifted in some fashion. NBC 5 health reporter Bianca Castro talked with Dr. Joseph Chang, chief medical officer at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where they’ve treated some of the highest risk patients, about what the current...

"The really big factor is the density of the population, with the virus jumping from person to person it's a lot easier with people packed closer together.

There's also big concerns about what the winter months will bring.

"We have not yet even seen the full impact of what the fall will bring and the winter months of COVID-19 transmission," said Casanova.

Baylor College of Medicine Professor and Executive Vice Chair Asim Shah said it's estimated that two-thirds of Americans are suffering from pandemic fatigue.

"People are stressed. They are lonely, isolated, burned out, depressed, anxious, all of that. And that’s the reason they’re at their melting point, they just can’t take it anymore," said Asim Shah.

To cope, Shah recommended people focus on healthy habits like eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep.

He also suggested limiting news intake, connecting with others digitally or from a safe outdoor distance and making times for the things you love, perhaps even picking up a new hobby.


*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.


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