Pandemic Panic: Burnt Out by COVID-19? Me Too.

There’s a term in the English language that has popped up in video games I’ve played over the years: “fatigue.” It’s usually used to describe the speed at which my player/character gets tired. When that player/character gets tired, their abilities weaken and they’re not able to perform at their best.

Aren’t we all in that place right now?

I’ve not written much for myself in a while, probably partly because I’ve been writing so much for everyone else. I’ve had 34 stories posted on my newspaper’s website since April 1, and I’ve also put together 11 editions of a newsletter. That’s 1.5 written pieces of content a day — along with daily updates to our COVID-19 counter online and social media.

And I’m tired, guys. I’m burnt out. And some things have just made it worse — like an ER doctor from New York taking her own life after spending hours and hours watching COVID-19-positive patients die before they even get to the hospital, dealing with the virus herself and then going back to work. Someone with no known history of mental health issues, burnt out, just done.

That story wrecked me. I couldn’t bear to see it. I get it. I haven’t felt suicidal — although I have in the past, several times — during the pandemic, but I understand how someone can get worn out. Extensive work on something like that, something so depressing and overwhelming, wears out your brain’s thinking processes, and it hurts. Literally hurts. The synapses have been firing so much that they’re tired.

As a result, you don’t think straight or clearly. You’re just exhausted and worn out. You’re less productive.

That’s why so many people have been stressing the need for self-care: for taking a break, not watching COVID-19-related media coverage, getting outside and taking a walk, that kind of thing.

But the world we live in doesn’t necessarily encourage that, especially when the economy is down. Productivity is primary.

It shouldn’t be, but it is.

I don’t have any call to arms with this. This is just more me saying I feel the same way.


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