Has the coronavirus got you lost in time?

John Roach
A man walks diagonally across an empty K Street, an area usually packed with people this time of day in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A woman walked to answer the doorbell the other day and was surprised to see the workers who had arrived to replace her front walkway.

"I wasn't expecting you to be here until Thursday," she said.

"It is Thursday," one replied.

Call it the CluelessVirus or CoronaDaze, but researchers have found that a majority of people have become lost in time because of the social distancing measures brought on by the coronavirus that have led people to spend more time in their homes and less time engaging in a variety of activities.

According to a new survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, the average person can't seem to recall which day it is five times per week. And 59% of those respondents didn't even know what day it was when they completed the survey.

Could the weather be the anchor in a never-changing world?

"I maintain simply the change of the weather from day to day is more important than ever because it does represent change when all the days seemingly run together and there is less change in our lives than there has been before," said AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr. Joel N. Myers.


Researchers believe many people are losing their temporal cues - regularly occurring events that break up the workweek - as well as losing the experience of exceptional events in their lives. "Every day is just as the other day," Marc Wittmann, PhD, a research fellow at the Institute for Frontier Areas in Psychology and Mental Health in Freiburg, Germany, told WebMD.com.

That's why the weather can be so important now to bookend our days or to alter our spirits, Myers believes.

"One of the things that does change from day to day in most places is the weather," he said. "Even though people get into a routine when working from home, they will look out and see it is a bright sunny day, which probably puts them in a better mood. Other days it may be a cloudy, rainy, dark, damp and dismal, which makes people less upbeat. And if they are already depressed, it adds to it."

"Weather also is a differentiator," Myers said. "On nice days people are more likely to go out for a walk. So the change of the weather is actually good psychologically, because it does represent change from day to day when other things are changing less. And of course, when it's nice outside and we are able to get out and involve ourselves in physical exercise, that's good for our bodies as well as our minds."

Now if only the weather could do something about Sweatpants Syndrome before everyone returns to the office.

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