Roanoke doctors concerned about the growth of ‘COVID fatigue’

A new poll says more Americans are not trusting reported pandemic numbers

ROANOKE, Va. – As coronavirus cases rise, local doctors are worried that people are becoming more careless about taking precautions.

It’s a concern that is making Roanoke residents, like Jim Carter, scratch their heads.

“It’s real. You can’t make it go away just because you quit hearing numbers," said Carter.

But that is the trend.

More people are losing trust in the pandemic data and ditching a mask, according to a recent poll by the Associated Press NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and USA Facts.

“The numbers tell us a story and it’s up to us public health officials. Our job is to take data, turn it into information, to turn that information into knowledge,” explained Roanoke City and Alleghany Health District Health Director Dr. Cynthia Morrow.

According to the poll, 30% of Americans have a difficult time finding trustworthy facts about the virus.

Celeste Holland is part of that group as she struggles to understand the different statistics different platforms post.

“But to be precautious, we should go ahead and wear it anyway. This is a new virus and no one knows what this can do,” said Holland.

One doctor said while the effectiveness of vaccines may be debated, she’s concerned more people simply don’t want to follow the guidelines right now.

“It doesn’t go anywhere near to the volume of folks here who either choose not to believe or choose not to follow recommendations," said Dr. Molly O’Dell with the health department.

Jim Carter agrees and said 'COVID fatigue’ is unnecessary.

“It endangers all of us a little bit more than we need to be endangered," he said.

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