How Will We Remember the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Because of the way our brain processes emotions and events, what remains in our minds from the coronavirus process after years will actually be slightly different from what we see in the process.

Covid-19, overturned all the rules we know and wrote ‘over again’. It hurt us physically and emotionally every day. For tens of thousands of people who lose loved ones, as well as front-line healthcare workers struggling with the disease, the psychological breakdown is likely to have a very devastating effect.

How Will We Remember the Coronavirus Pandemic?

For those who work from home and those who are constantly at home, the end of the process has become unknown. Some struggled with loneliness, while others worried about their health condition and worried about making a living. And the situation we are in right now, watching the newsletter or shopping among masked people at 2 a.m. can be quite surprising.

As a result, we are in the middle of a historical event that you may encounter perhaps only once in your life. Years later, we will share many stories with our friends, in schools COVID-19We will teach and tell our children what we went through in 2020.

So how do we remember this unprecedented event?

Science reveals that memories with a strong emotional component are more lasting and that these memories are much easier to remember in later periods. Neuroscientist Steve Ramirez of Boston University,

“This is how the brain makes something important permanent.” He adds: “Covid-19 is probably the first pandemic most of us have witnessed. That’s why it’s quite new, remarkable and so different. Therefore, our brain already encodes the memories in this process differently from other memories. ”

And all other factors, from the shaping of memory to our personal biases, will shape how we remember and distorted the pandemic for years to come.

Emotional Intense Memories

Our tendency to remember emotionally intense events, whether good or bad, stems from the evolution of humans. Ramirez says they tend to recall experiences that enabled our ancestors to pass on their genes, which means they don’t ‘become prey’.

“Let’s say something nearly caught you and you narrowly escaped. You have to remember this scenario so you don’t have the same situation again, ”he adds. On the other end of the spectrum, there is this: We remember a behavior that rewards us so we copy that behavior and repeat it constantly.

So, in short, we remember things that were bad or traumatic in order to avoid repeating these experiences. “That way, if the situation recurs, we are much better equipped to handle or handle it,” Ramirez says. “Emotional memories are permanent because there is a meaning like survival or we infer from them.” And while emotion acts as a volume knob over the power of memory, it can also distort memories of prolonged experiences.

Similar, overlapping brain cells function in the encoding of recent memories, according to a 2016 study by the journal Nature.

Whereas, memories occurring at different times contain separate clusters of cells. And when these memories are encoded with emotion, the degree to which the brain uses its shared nervous community intensifies. “This is speculation, but I think our brains will put the pandemic into a pivotal event,” says Ramirez. “I’ve always thought that way until now.”

The consequences of these emotionally intensive memories can also lead to real-world reactions. “It will take some time for us to feel comfortable again in crowded environments,” Ramirez says. “Or something as simple as a hug or a handshake with someone you know.”

However, despite these negative relationships that are constantly with us, there are ways to reduce the emotional intensity in memory. When Ramirez remembers something, it’s like in a Microsoft Word document.

He says it makes the memory susceptible to modification, like hitting “Save As”. “There are ways to be mentally present in that memory lane to reframe memory in a way that is not stressful or makes us feel in control,” says Ramirez. “Or it can be done with certain therapies. We have a really powerful tool. ”

No! You Remember Different.

Memory; It’s easy to think of it as an armored record of the past, like a multi-dimensional hard drive that can instantly replicate experiences as in the past. But researchers have long studied how we remember what we remember differently.

For example, psychologists from Yale University and economists from the University of Zurich have found that people tend to remember being more generous than they were in the past – a behavior the authors call “motivated false recall” – a way of preserving their own image.

Despite the emotional intensity of memories associated with terrible or traumatic events, these memories are susceptible to distortions. “Because we remember emotion so well, we tend to believe that memory itself will join our brains,” says psychologist DerynStrange from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

If someone is the victim of an attack or a crime, we say things like “I’ll never forget your face.” These comments actually have no basis, we can feel like we will never forget them. ”

“When we always create active memories of the pandemic by reading news articles or talking to friends, we learn something that can fulfill what we already know. This is part of the general event, ”he says.

“Some can change the details; some may be incorrect information. Over time, these collective details are all we need to remember the event. This can make us remember things that didn’t happen, ”adds Strange.

“As the pandemic is an ongoing, long-term event, it is quite possible that distortions will leak into our memories. This will be a formative experience in people’s lives, meaning it will be talked about all the time. And the more you talk about it, the more likely you will be to create new details. ”

These false details can be as simple as dramatizing something while telling a story. It’s like overstating the number of sirens you’ve heard lately. Sometimes these errors can be the result of being influenced by other people’s details.

Increasing death rates of COVID-19

“If you’re in New York and talking to friends who live close to a hospital, you might be talking about trailers parked outside for morgue overflows. And two weeks later you tell people you saw this. Because you imagined it so vividly. ”Says Strange.

These distortions can serve other purposes besides someone’s perception of the world around them. The rising mortality rates of COVID-19 are strange.

“If the death toll becomes very, very high, anyone can remember it in a way that serves their prejudices.

Oddly enough, these errors are much more affected by the individual’s political or social inclinations than other memory impairments.

But Strange says the fact that our memories are so sensitive to errors is that the way our brains work is a feature, not a bug. If we never make a mistake, the capacity of our memory system will be overloaded.

“It takes a lot of effort to encode and store each part of each memory separately. The way it works is what keeps us learning so much new knowledge. ”

Ramirez says a silver lining has been found for memory flexibility:

“Perhaps we can use this to reconstruct negative or traumatic memories of the epidemic and reduce its emotional effects. These are the kind of memories you will definitely remember. It’s just a matter of remembering differently. ”

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