Quarantine fatigue: New study shows many are staying home less during COVID-19 pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Next week, the Bay Area enters week seven of the novel coronavirus related shelter-in-place order, but there are signs that many of us are staying home less. Experts call it "Quarantine Fatigue." It could be a disturbing trend in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon on the Sausalito waterfront and for many, it was too hard to stay home.

"A lot of cabin fever," said David Bowen.

David and Carolyn Bowen came from Napa for a quarantine break.

"We came to get fresh air, social distance from everybody and enjoy life, Bowen said.

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The City of Sausalito has tried to keep non-locals away during the shelter in place order. New signs have been posted and starting this weekend, every single city parking lot is closed to discourage day trippers. Yet, people keep showing up.

"You can't go to work, it's illegal but people are going on vacation," said Santa Cruz resident Ken Collins.

Collins shared a video from Santa Cruz of parked cars lined up for more than a mile near the beach because beach parking lots are off-limits.

"I've never seen it this crowded, 4th of July, Memorial day, Christmas, nothing at this level," he said.

Margarita Mercado was in Southern California for business yesterday and saw crowded beaches with little social distancing.

"It wasn't right," said Mercado.

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"Staying at home isn't easy, I think people are getting quarantine fatigue," said Professor Lei Zhang.

The University of Maryland Professor is conducting a study tracking smartphone data, which shows a disturbing trend. For the first time since states began implementing stay-at-home orders, many Americans are staying home less.

"That's a shift in momentum which is not helping fight the virus," Zhang said.

Zhang says his research shows that the Bay Area is doing better than the rest of the California when it comes staying home, but even that could change in the weeks ahead.

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