Local EMS provider warns against pandemic fatigue


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Daily COVID case increases in Pennsylvania are now comparable with what we saw in April.

Public health providers say more needs to be done to slow the spread, especially among young people.

“Everyone is really tired of having to wear masks, having to social distance, can’t go to the events they want to go to and that’s dangerous,” said Nathan Harig, assistant chief of Cumberland Goodwill EMS.

He says it’s critical people social distance and wears masks but be cognizant of cross-contamination.

“Well when you’re taking off your mask, you’re going to come into contact with anything that’s there whether it’s on the inside or the outside and now that’s on your hands,” Harig said. “And when we talk about cross-contamination, it’s not just touching surfaces. It’s also making sure that you’re following the procedure, donning and offing your mask.”

Harig says with Halloween, Thanksgiving and even Christmas around the corner, we can’t let up on simple prevention methods.

“I know it’s exhausting. I know pandemic fatigue’s a real thing, but we have to keep doing this because your efforts save lives,” Harig said.

That includes limiting group gatherings.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is seeing significant increases in younger age groups, particularly 19 to 24-year-olds.

Testing is crucial to getting a handle on the virus.

“If you’re concerned about being tested and you think that you need to be tested, you should not be out in public,” Harig said. “You have to alter your behavior if you think that you’re going to be contagious to other people.”

There’s also the fear of what flu season could bring as we already deal with COVID-19.

“Help us prevent the ‘twindemics’ from happening,” Harig said. “Get a flu shot right now and then we can at least start to hopefully focus all of our efforts this winter on Coronavirus instead of having to deal with both,” Harig said.

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