Manitobans facing exhaustion, temperament issues, and other mental difficulties from the pandemic can find hope in each other.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer in Manitoba, says that people could experience COVID-19 fatigue in many different ways. Some signs of fatigue include:

  • temperament changes at home
  • exhaustion
  • changes in emotions
  • anxiety

Atwal says that it is important for Manitobans to connect with their healthcare providers including mental health care, previously saying if someone needs medical care it is important to seek it.

The provincial messaging to stay home and not gather has been in place for several months, pushing many Manitobans to feel fatigued with messaging. The doctor says seeking solitary activities and hobbies are helpful. Atwal says his family is looking to virtual and distanced connections to stay connected, something new to the family in the past year.

"I have gotten my kids to write letters to their grandparents," Atwal says while smiling. "There are lots of different things that we can do to make those social connections occur for our mental health. And not only for ourselves, but for our friends and family as well."

He says maintaining personal relationships with friends and family will continue to be important as Manitobans stay home. Atwal says physically speaking to loved ones will help.

"We have gone through almost a year of this, in relation to a world living with COVID," Atwal says. "Perseverance is required. You need to connect with individuals."

Outdoor activities are considered less risky, with the province permitting Manitobans to gather in groups of five people or fewer. 

Observing the low case numbers, Atwal is glad to see the efforts of Manitobans pay off. While the pandemic will be present in the province for a much longer time, the lowering cases is encouraging to those looking to lower restrictions.

The province is hoping to slowly ease the restrictions to avoid yo-yoing orders, creating a stable set of orders for Manitobans and businesses.

The hope of vaccines is on the horizon for the average Manitoban, but they may need to wait longer than a few months. The province is estimating to have 70 per cent of the population vaccinated by the end of 2021, pending vaccine availability.

"We are seeing a little bit of that light at the end of the tunnel, but that still is a bit of a ways away. We still need to continue to do our duty to make sure we are able to get to that point."

Dr. Joss Reimer, a spokesperson for Manitoba's COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Task Force, says that the province is fully prepared to vaccinate as many people as possible with its extensive expansion plans, once more become available.