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Health Experts Stress Need To Fight 'Mask Exhaustion,' Continue To Follow COVID Safety Guidelines

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - It's been eight months now since the pandemic changed our lives. Many are feeling overall exhaustion with all the guidelines, especially mask fatigue.

As we enter a second wave, health officials say masks are more important than ever, but people are also more tired than ever of wearing tight cloth over their faces.

"Nobody likes wearing masks, but it's what we have to do to get back to normal," Upper West Side resident Lucy Anders said.


There is also frustration for the people who don't follow the guidelines.

"I'm more fatigued with the lack of patience and consideration that other people have when it comes to having to wear a mask," said Ashley Williams, of the Upper West Side.

Nurse Amy Manhken knows firsthand just how important simple steps like masks and distancing are. She contracted COVID-19 in March.

"The actual sickness itself was not bad, it was extremely mild, but it left me very anxious and panic-stricken," Manhken told CBS2's Natalie Duddridge. "As a medical professional, I have always taken it seriously."

But that's not the case for some, who unless they themselves or a loved one contract COVID-19 don't take it seriously.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Human behavioral specialist Perry Halkitis says it goes against human nature to change routines and follow strict rules. But, he has a tip to stay the course.

"Think about the person in your life who is most vulnerable to death due to COVID-19 and do all the right things for that person," said Halkitis.

Health experts say though we want our pre-COVID lives back and we want to celebrate the upcoming holidays, we need to show as much commitment to protecting ourselves and others as we did when the pandemic first hit.

"Our grandparents who lived through World War II, who lived through the Holocaust. We live through 9/11, right, we all had to step back and do something that was good for our fellow human being," said Halkitis.

Experts say there is hope in sight with a vaccine on the way, but it's still months away. So for the winter months we need to double down our efforts.


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