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Doctors warn 'caution fatigue' over coronavirus could lead to increase in cases

One doctor said some people have gotten to the point where "they don't care anymore" regarding safety precautions and the coronavirus.

SEATTLE — Saturday and Sunday marked the first weekend since the statewide mask mandate was put in place. 

The mandate comes as cases continue to increase across Washington state.

King County Health officials said between June 12 to June 18, there were 113 more cases compared to the previous seven days, which is a 47% increase. Most of those cases have come from the Seattle area and most are young adults, health officials said.

Even though King County is currently in Phase 2 with certain businesses, restaurants and stores reopened, a health and wellness expert said people may be going through what is called “caution fatigue.” 

RELATED: Face masks are now required in Washington: What you need to know

“People have gotten to the point where their anxiety or depression or their experience with the coronavirus has gotten to the point where they don't care anymore,” said Dr. Matt Chalmers. 

"They finally reached their threshold where they were like 'you know what? I'd rather get the virus than stay in this house any longer," he explained.

Chalmers said "caution fatigue" revolves around a feeling of people losing control, and they're using their time now to regain control of themselves and their well-being.

As cases continue to rise in Washington state, Governor Inslee's statewide mask mandate has been met with strong support and criticism, Dr. Chalmers said it's important to not let the coronavirus turn political.

“If I went to work, there’s no law requiring you to wear a shirt to work. However, everyone would be kind of uncomfortable if I wasn't wearing a shirt. If we were to wear the mask, just to kind of make society a little bit happier, a little bit calm, kind of decrease the pressure. Maybe that's something we should think about,” Chalmers said. 

RELATED: Fake 'face mask exempt' cards encourage people to claim disability to avoid Washington's mask mandate