Pandemic Fatigue according to WHO and according to Yumi.

WHO (World Health Organization)

Maria Mauriello - Communication manager in Yumi

L'World Health Organization (WHO), a UN body, in response to the call for help from member states during the pandemic crisis, drew up a kind of political framework of planning and implementation for pandemic prevention and management.

The document consists of a series of strategies suitable for maintaining and reinvigorating public support so that no sector can be left behind.

The pivotal points are 4:

  1. Understanding people;

  2. Allowing them to live their lives in complete safety;

  3. Involve them as an integral part of resolution to the crisis, reducing risks;

  4. Recognize the strong impact of the virus on their lives.

What each individual experiences is a malaise, a "fatigue," precisely, seen as a natural reaction to the prolonged duration of this crisis.

For "pandemic fatigue", in fact, is understood to be a general demotivation in handling all the information related to Covid-19 followed by an attitude of alienation, hopelessness, and carelessness. There is an increasing number of people who do not follow recommendations and restrictions precisely because there is less perception of risk in them.

Pandemic fatigue: a general lack of motivation in dealing with all information related to Covid-19 followed by an attitude of alienation, hopelessness, and carelessness.

Of course, the process of de-motivation follows the general survival process of every individual who, when faced with crises, adopts behaviors based on mental and physical adaptations. However, when restrictions drag on, one feels unable to adopt a new style to cope with the situation. Feeling tired and overwhelmed is the result of a complex interaction of multiple factors that influence protective behaviors from the cultural, social and legislative environment.

Emotions and contextual factors, however, can have a greater impact on behavior, and this implies the need for proper communication that is more appropriate to the epidemiological situation and not simply a strategy to provide public health information that is ineffective.

It is important, therefore, to listen to people, understand their needs, and plan policies that meet those needs and reflect people's sense of self-identity. Research has shown how stories are powerful motivators: that is, people are more likely to follow through on actions if the information is presented in a way that matters to them. Appropriate, for example, would be to creatively communicate advice on how to continue living life while reducing the risk of transmission and to help the audience distinguish between low and high risk.

Ultimately, fatigue can be addressed through resilience by alleviating difficulties through social and cultural tools and with government aid that emotionally supports society.

Therefore, five cross-cutting principles are proposed that should be used as a "checklist":


Clear and simple messages, be transparent in sharing the reasons behind recommendations and restrictions;


To trust the authorities, people need to believe that all opinions are inclusive and that decisions are based on objective criteria not arbitrary, striving for as high a level of fairness as possible in the communication of restrictions;


Communication must be consistent and, therefore, the leader's actions, as well as those of the authorities, must also follow this principle;


Stakeholder coordination is key to building trust;


Predictability is a necessary psychological basis that prevents stress and mental overload. Setting objective criteria for behavior, for example, can help people in acting and knowing what to expect.

And what does Yumi think about that?

This decalogue seems to us a perfect example to explain in practice what we mean by nudges which are simply gentle nudges to do the right thing without any process of manipulation, rather respecting a person's freedom to decide according to his or her conscience.

To cope with pandemic fatigue from a digital perspective, we strongly believe in the usefulness of tools such as Yumi. An app where colleagues exchange advice, nudges and observations voluntarily and anonymously with the goal of personal growth and community improvement with high intellectual honesty and a strong sense of engagement.


If you found this article interesting, you might also be interested in these:

Yumi is a continuous nudging platform that improves measuring, engagement and development of teams at work

It helps people to share nudges about their behaviours with a spontaneous approach. 

It allows the company to put the change strategy in action..

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