As COVID-19 cases surge, fatigue is setting in

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Even in a store that stocks hundreds of masks, Beth Milley says there's been a recent uptick in people refusing to wear masks in her clothing boutique, Villa Ville Kula, in Chestnut Hill.

"I don't ask them why I just say 'I need you to wear a mask.' Some people will agree, and some will disagree and will leave," said Milley.

For the most part, Philadelphians in this neighborhood are good about wearing face coverings. But city health department surveys found the percentage of mask wearers citywide has dropped from 80% in early October to 70% this week.

"I think it's an indication of the fact that people are becoming complacent," said Peggie Howland, of Jenkintown.

Howland denies that she has let her guard down. As a diabetic, she's concerned for her health, but she admits that COVID-fatigue is real.

"The routine is starting to become a bigger rut," said Bill Betz, Warwick Township, who has ventured out to a restaurant Tuesday for the second time since March.

"It's frustrating. There's nothing to do. You do the same boring this day in and day out," said Betz.

Some have returned to daily activities like going to the gym or shopping and eating out. Others remain just as vigilant.

Vanessa Smalls of West Oak Lane said she has no plans to get together with friends or extended family over the upcoming holidays.

With the number of COVID-19 cases spiking once again, there's growing evidence complacency is setting in among some. Monica Taylor of Elkins Park said she'll think of others and keep her guard up.

"When people are dying, and people are looking across the dining room tables this Thanksgiving and Christmas and don't see people that should be there, there's no not taking it seriously," said Taylor.
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