COVID-19 Series

Concentrating On COVID: Fatigue of Online Meetings

Meeting Fatigue. It’s real, and sometimes it’s a love hate relationship, blended with my need to practice self-care more and more. In a pandemic state of mind, the past six months, we have continually seen the need to distance ourselves from gatherings in a organizational nature, especially when not able to social distance from one another. Not everyone likes to practice universal masking either, this putting an additional strain on the in-person attendance factor of events, specifically public meetings.

I in 35 years of life would have never imagined that meetings of a governmental nature be held virtually. Likewise, the organizations such as contractors and organizations that serve the public must additionally weigh in the risk of meeting in person and use whatever tool they have at their disposal to conduct their business. Granted, not all citizens have the capability to connect online by having the data to do so. When they have to sit at a receiving end of a telephone and listen to content without the ability to visualize what is occurring in the meeting they are attending, it puts them at a disadvantage. They too are at a greater risk of fatigue as a result of this deficiency.

With the majority of the meetings becoming of a virtual nature and wanting to be of an advocative voice to people both in the nature of my home, work and program life. It can be hard to decline the opportunity to attend and give input or learn something while already crippled with the responsibility of attending therapies, doctors’ appointments, and some day program commitments virtually. It can weigh you down. I wholeheartedly understanding the need for distancing ourselves during a time of what we see seven months after the first resurgence another resurgence of cases hit the world again. However, I feel that while the need for masking and social distancing will likely not go away for sometime until certainties can be verified, if distancing is able to commenced, the need for a virtual presence will need to occur.

Granted, the birth of telehealth is a great advance and for several other reasons other than COVID, I will be an advocate of it and for its development and growth. However, I see the decline in the fatigue in many persons in a manner of not being able to congregate with others. Again, I totally see there is a great divide in this country alone of whether to both practice masking and social distancing in public. Additionally, it has a domino effect, because research has proven that these two combats the chance of contraction, thus lessening the number of persons that become infected. It is early onset of cough and cold season and I have seen the cases climbing at a absorbent rate in my county alone. Therefore, if we put our differences aside and do what is required of us to be safe, we will at some point combat the virus.

It has also been proven that the mental health of many because of the additional requirements of COVID has resulted in a decline in mental health in more persons now than ever, especially children and adolescents who are not able to attend school at least of the manner that they did previously. In individuals who already have severe cases of mental, physical and neurological conditions, this can worsen the effect of symptoms resulting in a large regression and has occurred in many youths. Going to school virtually has a split opinion with individuals on the spectrum with a spectrum array of results depending on the abilities of the person, nonetheless those that require additional supports are not getting them in the manner they need them delivered to them. Likewise, individuals that require less support excel better with a virtual platform likely because of their interest in the material.

However difficult it may be in managing all the virtual meetings, appointments and so forth out there in cyberspace, one must remember that while we have seen advances in this, we know we will one day be back to normal when we know more about COVID and how to combat the virus.

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