Reading is amazing

To celebrate a year+ of sheltering at home, here’s me, my Kindle Paperwhite, and Callum’s (now my) Nyan Cat pillow. The Czech Republic has the highest COVID infection and death rates in the world, so this situation is unlikely to change anytime soon (unless we can somehow safely get outta this country). We’ve been as safe as we possibly can be, having all our groceries delivered and wearing masks any time we leave our apartment (the principle reason being to fetch aforementioned groceries from downstairs). But considering the people in our building don’t wear masks despite the Czech Republic being worst in the world for COVID, things are unlikely to get better here.

Speaking of reading…

I’ve been doing a lot of that lately (lockdown can do that to you) and I’ve found it fascinating how reading just a few short sentences of text can put images into your mind that become long-term memories – memories on par with events you’ve actually experienced. Even more fascinating is how these memories can be of things and places you’ve never seen, or that have never actually existed: far-off lands, medieval castles, even spaceships or alien landscapes. Considering the sentences that describe such places are usually short and intentionally lacking in detail, the source of these memories is, for the most part, the depths of your mind. I have vivid memories from my adolescence of places I’ve read about, and they are identical in shape and form to the memories I’ve actually lived. A third party wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.

Adding to this incredulity is the fact that your body can experience things your mind is thinking as if these things were actually happening to you. People who have been told they have come into contact with something they’re allergic to have had physical allergic reactions manifest on their skin – even if the object in question was, in reality, not something they were allergic to. So by reading, your body can experience legitimate feelings of being somewhere that never existed, or going through an experience that never occured.

This is all very fascinating to me. But mostly, I really hope we can get vaccinated sooner rather than later.

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