Hugh: Here’s How the Pandemic Warped Our Sense of Time
Written by Hugh Campbell on December 15, 2022
People say time is relative and the saying rings true when it comes to life-altering circumstances like the global pandemic. Many people’s perception of time was altered after being stuck at home for hours on end with roommates, children, and work-from-home orders during the height of lockdown. “When life changes, time changes,” says a psychologist who led several global surveys during the darkest days of the pandemic. The researcher found that worry about things out of our control that alter our routines can warp time and make things appear slower. Ed Miyawaki, a Harvard neurologist, says that there isn’t a single place in the brain involved in timekeeping, but several, so we have internal clocks based on memory, emotion, and so on. The speed at which we’ve felt the last couple years pass also varies from person to person and culture to culture. For instance, research shows that generally, people in Iraq found time moving significantly slower, while those surveyed in the U.K. reported time moving faster. Meanwhile, in Argentina, young women felt time pass quickly and older men experienced the opposite.