October 12, 2020, 11.26 PM

But treating the virus medically is only half the battle. Public health officials are now dealing with a surge in anti-mask protests, virus negationists and residents who are simply sick and tired of being told to keep their distance and refrain from hugging their loved ones — all alluding to the notion that Europe is suffering from a "pandemic fatigue".

The WHO this week shifted gears from giving medical advice to combat the surge of Covid-19 cases in Europe to giving psychological advice on how to nudge virus-weary Europeans to keep up their guard amid a “pandemic fatigue” that is sweeping the continent.

“Fatigue is absolutely natural. It’s to be expected where we have these prolonged crises or emergencies,” said the WHO’s Butler.

Read also: WHO Warns of a “Pandemic Fatigue” Hitting Europe

The WHO this week put out new advice for governments to consider more social, psychological and emotional factors when deciding on lockdowns, closures or other restrictions — a nod to some in the field who say the mental health toll of lockdowns is worse than the virus itself.

That data, Butler said, “is going to become more important because we have to understand what restrictions we can put in place that will be sustained and adhered to, and acceptable to our populations.”

(Writer: Nicole Winfield) 

Source: https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-pandemics-italy-madrid-eastern-europe-159a68a460337948d25281c153994c70 

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