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Canadian doctors share advice on coping with pandemic fatigue

Eight months into the pandemic, Dr. Anna Banerji and Dr. Jennifer Kwan have some advice for Canadians on living with COVID-19.
By: Madeleine Hall
December 02, 2020
Photos: provided
Photos: provided

A pair of Canadian physicians spoke with the Ottawa Citizen this week about their tips for coping with pandemic fatigue, and getting through what is looking to be a difficult winter. Some common themes are: focus on what you can control, not what you can’t; practice gratitude and reflect on what you have; set healthy boundaries for work and other tasks.

Dr. Anna Banerji is a Toronto-based infectious disease specialist and faculty lead of Indigenous and Refugee Health at the University of Toronto. Banerji believes the pandemic will peak this winter and improve in the new year. Banerji feels bolstered by the work she does, and a coming vaccine.

“I find meaning in the work I do. I have an appreciation for the fact that I have a job — the simple things. […] By being appreciative of what I have and taking pause and looking at what I have makes you grateful,” Banerji told the Ottawa Citizen.

Dr. Jennifer Kwan is a family doctor in Burlington, ON, who’s had to set firm boundaries around doing media interviews after losing count during the first months of the pandemic.

“Regardless of the numbers going up and down, we can focus on what we can control, including limiting our personal risk by avoiding high-risk settings if possible, distancing, wearing masks, washing our hands, and caring for others,” says Kwan. “We have to be adaptable to the constantly changing situation and know that there is no quick and easy solution. COVID-19 will eventually end, and we will get back to normalcy. We’re just not sure when. Hopefully our present sacrifices will help things get under control sooner so we can get back to seeing our loved ones and travelling safely, without constant worries of the pandemic over our heads.”

Source: Ottawa Citizen

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