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We live post-Covid-19 dream epidemic

by ace
We live post-Covid-19 dream epidemic

At that time, my son, we would enter apartments and houses directly through the living room! Can you believe it?

To get to the bathroom, we passed the living room, greeted the whole family, played with the dog, sometimes even had dinner. There were people who lay on the sofa and dozed in their work clothes, watching television.

Only afterwards did we bathe. And he took the dirty clothes in his hands, without a glove, to a basket, where she stayed for a few days, until it was full and everything went to the washing machine.

No one came into the house through these changing rooms. Imagine !!! Enter the chamber, throw clothes and shoes in an automatic washing tube and go straight to the bath! If anyone suggested this architectural sequence, he was going to be branded crazy.

Nobody imagined a house like this: washing-room-bathroom-room and only then reach the living room! And not being able to go back to that bathroom, then, why doesn't the door even open from the inside ?! Dirty area? This only existed in the hospital.

We would enter the house through the living room and go wherever we wanted, all the doors would open. And, really, I only took a shower if I wanted to.

But that was a long time ago, in 2020, before the Great Quarantine. Since then, the virus has changed everything: the fashion, habits and architecture of homes.

Before, my son, we would meet a friend on the street, hug and kiss. Kiss! In some regions of the country there were three kisses. This story of just dropping your head was an oriental thing, a cold thing … Who knew.

And the masks, my son. No one had one for each type of clothing, no. They were only used in hospitals or in places with a lot of dust or toxic products (and, look there …). On the streets, no way!

The fashion at that time was lipstick – the colored wax tube that gives tone to the lips and today is hardly found anymore. Hummm …. the red ones were the sexy ones. And young women wore much more nose piercings than eyebrows. It was only after the fashion of the masks that this variety of false eyelashes and forehead ornaments appeared.

Yes, my son … We shared a beer can, drank soda through the same straw and, at Carnival, touched others' sweat. Those were other times.

I woke up … in the middle of the story I was telling my grandson (I don't have children). I was very old, with a wrinkled face and white hair in a bun. But it was all too real.

The pandemic invaded my sleep: the fear of finitude, the uncertainties and anguish of time passing by, opened wide. But on this trip, I am not alone.

Psychologist Deirdre Barrett, a professor at Harvard Medical School and former president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, on March 23 created an online questionnaire to find out how Covid-19 is impacting our dreams. It has already received 2,148 responses, with more than 5,000 reports.

"I haven't done the statistics yet, but the number of metaphors for this invisible danger is impressive," she told Folha. "There are dozens of dreams about insects of all types and the most varied natural disasters."

Barrett says that anxiety is the guiding thread of these reports, which are, in general, more surreal than the average dreams of the population. A pattern, she said, that was also seen shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“Any major change in life tends to shake our dreams and make them more frequent and more vivid. And the situation of confinement at home is a big change that we are experiencing collectively ”, says Barrett. “In addition, sleep time is one of the main factors that impact the number of dreams we have and their realism. And many people who used to be sleep deprived may be recovering now. ”

There is a certain consensus among specialists that we are experiencing an epidemic of dreams: without so many chores, we are sleeping more and having more complete sleep cycles – including the REM phase, where dreams happen. Hence why we would be dreaming more.

On the other hand, we would be remembering dreams more clearly because we are sleeping worse: the stress and uncertainties that result from the pandemic trigger our fight and flight mechanisms and make us wake up more often – and the dream memory happens, exactly, when it is interrupted by awakening.

In the reports received by Barrett there are quite explicit dreams, such as the woman who is diagnosed with Covid-19 and receives a lethal injection, to the most bizarre metaphors, which include grasshopper attack, giant revolver massacre and exploding cows, contaminating everything.

Of the 2,148 questionnaires received by Barrett, 177 were completed by health professionals who are at the forefront of combating the pandemic and 290 by people with symptoms of Covid-19. The others – the majority – live, like me, in fear.

According to Barrett, "there is a big difference between surreal anxiety – reflected in the dreams of the general public – and the horrible and real nightmares of healthcare professionals".

“Individually”, says the researcher, “dreams can bring up emotions that at that moment are not conscious, for example, for fear of getting in touch with them. But for a society or an entire category, looking at a dream collection can tell us a lot about the collective emotional unconscious and can indicate ways of dealing with it in the future. Dreams are the result of our brain functioning in another biochemical state (with activation of emotional areas) and can be a very useful complement to our linear, logical and rational approach to these people. ”

For Barrett, if in our old normality hearing the other's dream was often a pain, in the pandemic this conversation can become more pleasant and even help us to neutralize a little stress. “It is comforting to know that we are dreaming similar things. We are not alone, ”she says.

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