I don’t know about you, but I don’t/can’t/won’t remember anything about my past life, before this pandemic hit. All I have is today and the future. I don’t/can’t/won’t recall anything except the thinking and thought of survival and just about getting through this mess.
At first I thought it was just me. But after reading this article “Lockdown has affected your memory – here’s why” (click here) I’m finding out that what I am experiencing is quite common. “Many of us have found ourselves in an isolated routine during the pandemic – and it turns out, that’s not very good for your memories.”
The most obvious factor is isolation. We know that a lack of social contact can affect the brain negatively and that the effect is most serious in those already experiencing memory difficulties.
As soon as I think of something to do, it’s immediately forgotten. I have to sit for a moment and try to re-create the memory. I also can not remember my past life, how I lived, how I managed my money. I think I am so wrapped up in the current situation that my brain refuses to think of its past because it is so focused on its present and future. Can this be possible? We’ve been in lockdown for almost nine months. Surely the lockdown has taken a toll on my brain!
I find myself very depressed at times. Anxious, always. At night, before I go to sleep, a feeling of terror comes over me. Needless to say, I have stayed awake many a night only to sleep throughout the next day. Something like this would have bothered me before but I have no place to go to during the day. Nothing is scheduled. No one is coming over my home. No visitors. No friends. No family. Each and every one of them is terrified also that not only will they give me the virus but they’ll contract it themselves. So if I am up the whole night, I can sleep the whole next day without any consequences.
Remember, we all have to contend with my brother’s early death from the coronavirus back in April 2020. My SIL has not been out of their condo since. We still have not spoken to each other since my brother’s death. She said she is waiting for the vaccine. That might not come for another six months. Her own sister refuses to visit with her for fear of traveling from New Jersey to Florida and contracting the deadly disease.
Is it any wonder our brains are exploding? Who could remember anything under such fear tactics? “Both depression and anxiety are known to have an impact on memory. Worries tax our working memories, leaving us with less capacity available for remembering shopping lists or what we need to do for work.”
The good news is that there are things we can do about it.
Sometimes, just the simple act of going for a walk can make a huge difference in our pandemic lives. A walk, especially along unfamiliar streets, will bring your brain back to attention. Keeping a diary is another solution. Making a list and setting alerts can be beneficial too. That’s what I just started to do two weeks ago: making lists. To Do lists, food shopping lists, emergency lists, repair lists, things to cook, freezer counts………things like that. I’ve even made a To Do list of things to remind my husband to do.
“You can also harness your own imagination. If you want to remember to buy milk, bread and eggs, then before you go picture yourself visiting each of the necessary aisles in the actual shop you are going to. When you get there, this imaginary shopping trip will pop back into your mind and you’re more likely to remember everything you need.“