COVID-19 'caution fatigue' could increase as Missouri opens

4 weeks 14 hours 50 minutes ago Monday, June 15 2020 Jun 15, 2020 Monday, June 15, 2020 2:13:00 PM CDT June 15, 2020 in News
By: Alex Angle, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY — If you have found yourself being less vigilant in wiping down groceries, sanitizing your hands and wearing a mask, you are not alone. 

The phenomenon on is known as 'caution fatigue' and it happens when people let their guard down when it comes to safety precautions for COVID-19.

With Missouri fully reopening Tuesday, Cole County Health Department Communicable Disease Coordinator, Chezney Schulte, said caution fatigue will probably become more prevalent.  

"I'm sure a lot of people are experiencing that," Schulte said. "It was just something that there's a lot of recommendations, a lot of education and a lot of orders that came out initially that people are obviously wanting to get back to a sense of normal or wanting to back to summer or work activities."

However, Schulte still urges caution and said it's still very important to be vigilant. 

"Just because the state is reopening, doesn't mean that your risk of exposure is gone," Schulte said. "So don't go too crazy and just still remember social distancing and those simple preventative measures."

One Cole County resident, Scott Goodin, is worried about the state opening prematurely. He said he makes sure to follow safety guidelines, even if those around him aren't. 

"I wear my mask, when I go inside" Goodin said. "And if I'm going to be in an enclosed environment just of courtesy for my fellow residents from my community. That's what this is all about. Like I'm saying 'I care about you' when I wear my mask."

Tara Hoelscher works in Cole County and said she thinks people are over COVID-19 and thus will stop taking as many safety precautions when the state opens. 

"I do think there are people who are going to be irresponsible about it," Hoelscher said. 

Cole County will open fully with the state Tuesday, but it is up to each Missouri county if it wants to have its own COVID-19 guidelines. Boone County will still have restrictions in place. 

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