caution fatigue

I know.  You are weary, too.  This COVID world just won’t go away! 

I still can’t figure out how at risk I am.  I don’t know who has it (and often they don’t know either!).  I really don’t know if I have it.  I still don’t know anyone who knows that they had it.  Everyone is wearing masks.  My friends all have different, varied responses.  Some are much more fearful than others.  Some would say they are just being wise, or cautious.  Some hug some people, but not others.  Some bump elbows; some, fists; some, feet.  Some won’t talk to anyone indoors, only out.

And then there’s the politics.  Progressives tend to be more cautious.  Conservatives tend to be more skeptical.  Everyone thinks someone is using the disease for their benefit.  Everyone is skeptical of someone’s view.

I don’t know what to believe.

I do know that I am very weary of all of this.   I am very ready for normal.

But the newest term for my weariness has been called “caution fatigue.”  Every part of my life is marked by caution.  From wearing masks to sitting or standing six feet away to trying to talk “away” from the person in my golf cart, I am always aware of potential danger.  I am always being cautious, trying to prevent getting the disease or giving it away when I don’t even know if I have it.  If I want to see friends, we meet outside – on a patio, in a park, or on a walk.  When I go for a walk on the greenway, I am careful to steer as clear from other walkers as I am able.


And then there’s the hand washing and sanitizing.  Every time I come home, I wash my hands.  Every time I go into a store, I get in the car and re-sanitize my hands.  Every time I get out of the car, I have to remember my mask.  And how often do I need to replace or wash those masks if they are to stay effective?

But the high point for me has been Dr. Fauci.  I really want to have dinner with him.  He is so down to earth.  Did you see his terrible opening day pitch for the Washington Nationals?  He was so humbly embarrassed.  Seventy-nine years old and throwing out the first pitch!  I would think he might be the most weary of all.

The best thing about this virus will be its end.  Once it’s over, I don’t think I will take my old world for granted.  I pray I will be more grateful for the little things.  Hugs will mean more.  Sitting in restaurants will be a luxury.  But not having to be cautious might be the best.


Palmer Trice is an ordained Presbyterian minister.  He is married to Lynne, has three children and has been in Charlotte since 1979. In his spare time, Palmer enjoys golf, tennis, walking and reading.

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