Mind the “worry fatigue” amid Omicron scares

Zhaohui Su, Dean McDonnell, Junaid Ahmad, Ali Cheshmehzangi, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In addition to worry, the accumulated unknowns and uncertainties about COVID-19 may also result in “worry fatigue” that could harm the public's vigilance towards the pandemic and their adherence to preventive measures. Worry could be understood as future-oriented concerns and challenges that could result in negative outcomes, whereas worry fatigue is the feeling of extreme burden and burnout associated with too much worry unsolved. As the world embraces its second COVID-19 winter, along with the pandemic-compromised holiday season, the Omicron variant has been declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organization. However, the fluid and unpredictable nature of COVID-19 variants dictates that, instead of definitive answers that could ease people's worry about Omicron, dividing debates and distracting discussions that could further exacerbate people's worry fatigue might be the norm in the coming months. This means that, amid the ever-changing public health guidance, the forever-breaking news reports, and the always-debatable media analyses, government and health officials need to be more invested in addressing people's potential worry and worry fatigue about the pandemic, to ensure the public's rigorous cooperation and compliance with safety measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-61
Number of pages2
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume101
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Omicron
  • Public heath
  • Worry
  • Worry fatigue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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