Our pandemic dreams change to reflect the pandemic

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvard dream researcher Deirdre Barrett began surveying people about their dreams and noticed a few distinct patterns: People weren’t just dreaming of getting COVID-19 ; but also swarms of insects, invisible monsters and confinement in solitary confinement – ​​all metaphors for the pandemic.

But nearly three years into the pandemic, our dreams have changed along with our responses to COVID-19, Barrett said. Boston Public Radio In Monday.

“More recently, there have been a series of bad dreams about returning to work after working remotely, or something wrong with it. [your] the kids’ school,” Barrett said. “You know, ‘the building is run down, and it’s going to crumble on my kid’s head if I let him go back to school.'”

Perhaps Barrett’s most interesting discovery has to do with what she calls “the evolution of mask dreams.” Early in the pandemic, participants in Barrett’s survey reported dreams in which they would show up in a public space either without a mask or with a damaged mask, fearing they would catch the virus.

“Over the last nine months or so, I see a lot more where the person realizes they don’t have a mask on or they have holes in their mask, and they become very embarrassed and ashamed, and worries about what people may be thinking of them,” Barrett said.

“They used to… cover their faces [in these dreams] like some sort of makeshift mask as they left a crowded environment. But now, if they cover their face, it’s to hide that they don’t wear a mask. It kind of became our new dream of being naked in public, in the sense of being socially shamed.

Barrett is a dream researcher at Harvard University and the author of “Pandemic Dreams” and “The Committee of Sleep,” among other dream books.

About Roberto Frank

Check Also

Plains blizzard heralds unusually cold weather for Lower 48

Comment this story Comment The first major winter storm of the season, which has ravaged …