Cleared supermarket shelves, bans on going to the pub, and building huge emergency hospitals could feel like something out of a horror movie.
But scientists have found that Covid-19 are really nightmares.
More than half of the 800 volunteers who were asked about their dreams showed that they had to endure stressful images related to the pandemic.
And a quarter of the participants – who came from Finland – said that they now suffer from bad dreams more often than before the "apocalyptic ambience" of the lockdown.
The images that made people turn around included accidentally hugging someone, stuck in a crowd, enjoying a party, and catching the virus themselves.
A quarter of people had more bad dreams during the lockdown, according to a newspaper. One of the dreams was to accidentally hug someone. (Warehouse)
"We all share the same vivid dreams," say experts
Millions of people around the world have had the same vivid dreams since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, experts have said.
The horrors of Covid-19 and the frightening way it changed daily life infect dreams and, according to a number of psychologists, reveal feelings of fear, isolation and grief.
"As far as I know, nobody has dream samples from the 1918 pandemic flu – and that would probably be the most comparable thing," Professor Deidre Barrett of Harvard University told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
“Now we all have our smartphones next to our bed so you can just reach over and speak or type it up. It has never been easier to record our dreams. & # 39;
Barrett, who previously studied the dreams of survivors of September 11 and British prisoners of war in World War II, has already collected 6,000 dream samples from around 2,400 people during the current coronavirus crisis.
According to Barrett, many people dream of contracting Covid-19, or they are overwhelmed by what appear to be replacements for the virus: swarms of insects, slippery worms, witches, fangled grasshoppers.
Meanwhile, others dream of losing control. In such a dream, the dreamer was held down by infected people who coughed on her. In another case, the dreamer came across groups of people who shot at random strangers.
Scientists looked for "dream clusters" by asking participants to write down their dreams each morning between March 28 and April 15.
To find a pattern, their words were then fed into an algorithm that looked for repeated word associations or clusters and word pairs.
The study also used sleep and stress data from 3,200 other participants, as well as 800 other participants whose dreams were examined to see if bad dreams were more common.
University of Helsinki researchers found 20 nightmare clusters, 55 percent of which are related to the pandemic.
In a cluster known as "disregarding distancing", the word pairs "mistake hug", "hug handshake", "handshake restriction", "handshake distancing", "distancing disregard", "distancing amount", "crowd restriction" and "mass party" included.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Anu-Katriina Pesonen said they were "excited" to observe repetitive associations with dream content that "reflect the apocalyptic ambience of the Covid-19 lockdown".
"The results allowed us to speculate that dreams, under extreme circumstances, reveal shared visual images and memory traces. In this way, dreams can indicate some form of shared thoughtscape between individuals," she said.
"The idea of a common visual language that is reflected in dreams is fascinating."
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, used participants in Finland who had a national lockdown from March 28 to April 15 – the start and end dates used for the research.
On April 6, at the height of the pandemic, 211 new cases of coronavirus were recorded and to date there have been 345 deaths from the virus.
However, the UK and US suffered a far greater impact from the coronavirus as neither country had officially lifted their lockdown restrictions yet.
The UK has so far recorded 446,000 cases of the virus and 42,072 deaths.
There is currently a second surge in infections. However, experts say this should not be compared to the high in late March and April as the test system was inoperative.
The US is experiencing one of the world's worst coronavirus outbreaks, with 7.22 million cases and 206,000 deaths from the virus registered to date. Yesterday the country identified another 36,847 cases of the virus.
Daily Mail columnist Susanna Reid revealed last week how the coronavirus pandemic left her with "crippling nightmares" of waking up "screaming and crying."
The 49-year-old Good Morning Britain host said her fear fights began when the first cases in the UK were identified in March and how she found the whole experience "very scary".
During an interview with The Telegraphs' Stella Magazine, Susanna stated, “It was a scary time for everyone, but those early days were very scary.
"I got really vivid, terrible nightmares in which I woke up screaming and crying even though I couldn't remember exactly what the nightmares were."
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