SAINT JOHN -- It’s been about four and a half months since Atlantic Canada saw its very first case of COVID-19 and restrictions were put into place.

Although those restrictions have gradually relaxed throughout the provinces, there is concern that 'pandemic fatigue' is leading some to not follow precautions.

Maritimers are seeing a glimpse of what life after COVID-19 lockdown will be like, as businesses open and streets buzz with activity.

But as we navigate the ‘new normal’, there’s concern that some may be letting their guard down when it comes to pandemic protocols.

“I see people doing things that are probably a little more than what I think they should be doing,” says Dr. Lisa Barrett, infectious disease expert. “Maintaining less distance between people, not doing a great job washing their hands anymore.”

Back in March, the Maritime provinces put strict rules in place to keep the virus under control.

A situation that sparked a sense of fear in the population, says clinical psychologist Simon Sherry, a professor in the department of psychology and neuroscience at Dalhousie University.

“If fear was our initial motivational basis for social distancing, hand washing and other such measures, that fear for many has gone down, and for some, perhaps the younger generation, gone away entirely,” says Sherry.

But while the fear may have gone away, COVID-19 certainly has not.

Although the recent cases in the Atlantic bubble have been relatively few and far between, health officials have been warning to prepare for the possibility of a second wave.

“Wearing masks, washing our hands, limiting our numbers of close contacts and the physical distancing, I think those things can’t be reiterated enough in terms of what we have to do to continue to maintain our vigilance against the pandemic,” says Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Continuing to maintain our vigilance, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.