The Runback: COVID Fatigue

It's real and it's problematic

Welcome to another week of The Runback. Have you been enjoying The Duckpin? Do you have comments or suggestions? Do you want to write for us? Let me know at And please be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. Thanks in advance.

Podcast Episode #10
The Duckpin

This week we talked with Jim Fossel, longtime political activist and columnist, about the re-election of U.S. Senator Susan Collins.

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News and Politics


The Monday Thought

The last time we had a Friday the 13th prior to this past Friday was on March 13th.

It was on that day we learned that the world as we knew it was drastically changing for awhile. NCAA Tournament canceled. NHL and NBA seasons suspended. Major League spring training suspended. Schools postponed.

In that respect, the week preceding Friday, November 13th was eerily similar. Spiking rates of COVID infection. Additional restrictions placed on restaurants and businesses. Restrictions on public and private gatherings. Mask mandates in public spaces, even outside.

There is obviously a need for vigilance here when it comes to COVID. When COVID first reared its head across the country and once community spread became problematic, we were in a very similar place. People were spending more time indoors due to less favorable conditions for outdoor activities, including outdoor dining. It’s November. As we know….

These are serious problems. But people are tired of it. COVID Fatigue is real, and it’s about to become a serious problem.

We need to face this fact about COVID Fatigue; it’s not just people who oppose mask mandates, or want businesses to stay open, or people who think students should be physically back in school. It’s everybody else.

I consider myself somebody who takes COVID seriously. I wear a mask. I steer clear of people. I only interact with people who are not ill or being safe. And I’ve got COVID Fatigue.

We’re a long way from “Two Weeks to Stop the Spread” for sure. But at the time that was a forgivable error; nobody really understood the virus as much as it’s understood now. But that was also before months of shutdowns, cancellations, delays, and media coverage.

When President-Elect Joe Biden’s science advisors start talking about a “4-6 week shutdown” or a national mask mandate to deal with COVID, nobody is going to happily deal with that. Even people like me who take this seriously.

(That doesn’t even take into account the unconstitutional nature of a federally mandated shutdown or mask mandate)

President Donald Trump has also contributed heavily to COVID Fatigue. His continued failure as a leader throughout this crisis has minimized the risk of COVID to individuals and has led large swaths of his supporters to either pretend that the virus isn’t serious or pretend that it doesn’t exist at all. Take a look at the photos from the Million* MAGA March on Saturday and you will see that most of the attendees aren’t wearing masks in public in close quarters. Which is insanely stupid and irresponsible.

The attack on in-person gatherings in private homes is really where people are fed up with COVID and with government overreach. Many states are limiting the number of people allowed in a private residence. Two weeks before Thanksgiving. People are also being encouraged to stay home and not go see their family members this Thanksgiving.

People are going to hold private gatherings larger than ten people. People are going to travel to see their family members. You know why? Because you don’t always get a chance to see your family members. There may not be another Thanksgiving or Christmas with your family. You may not have another chance.

Want to know what else isn’t helping? The double standards that politicians and the media are holding people to when it comes to gatherings and mask mandates.

Want to hold a rally to open up businesses? You’re irresponsible. Want to go party in the streets because Joe Biden won? Democracy at work.

Want to have your family of twelve over for Thanksgiving? You’re going to kill Grandma and oh by the way we’ll fine you. Want to hold dinners for new members? The Speaker of the House will tell you it’s fine because a doctor signed off on it.

Politicians and the media are as much to blame for COVID Fatigue as anybody else. And this has a long-term tail, as people will continue to trust the media and their elected officials a little less every day.

COVID Fatigue is real. People should take intelligent precautions about wearing their mask in public. They should stay home if they are sick or have been potentially exposed to COVID. But people are going to travel see their family. They are going to gather. And after eight months of this, there isn’t a damn thing any government official can do to stop it.