This week ‘Corona Fatigue’ has hit home in earnest. Across the world, we’ve seen a number of nations where infection rates have fallen – from China to Switzerland – increasingly easing restrictions on movement. This has prompted citizens in other countries, where infection rates remain high, to clamour for more of the same. Take the US, where Apple’s new mobility tool continues to report that fed-up Americans are beginning to venture out of their homes despite stay at home orders, with reports of packed bars in Wisconsin, non-socially distanced restaurants heaving in Texas, and casinos across Mississippi and Louisiana opening their doors.
Cognitive behavioural scientists have all jumped on the band wagon to explain our urge to perhaps prematurely return to normal. “Living with that fear and uncertainty takes a toll. Being on guard or hyper-vigilant or extra conscientious does take a toll on our energy” said pre-eminent mental health professor Janet Miller, Mount Royal University in Calgary.
This may explain why a recent (12 – 15 May) Opinium survey found that 64% of those questioned across the UK believe important day-to-day activities outside COVID-19 are being side-lined. They’re calling for brands to focus their campaign activity on anything beyond lockdown and social distancing – with an overwhelming 73% looking for non-COVID content, in comparison to just 27% of consumers who want the pandemic to remain front and centre.