Johnny! Johnny! Wash Your Hands! – Living with the Pandemic (2)


“A tract of time empty of experiences seems long in passing, but in retrospect short.” ~ William James, Philosopher and Psychologist between the 19th and 20th centuries

Essentially, our perception of time is gullible.

Say you are reading the newspaper. Have you ever jerked yourself awake realising that you have been consuming longer time than intended in reading the paper? Without an alarm going off loudly, how are we able to gauge the passage of time like that? Well, how the brain works out the time to the second is still a mystery. But what we do know is that the brain tracks the passage of time.

But there is a glitch.

If our brain can measure time to the second, why do we get agitated as we wait for the red signal to turn green? As we nervously anticipate our exam results, why does the time seem to go slow? It turns out, how we feel at any given moment warps our perception of time as well. When in fear the time passes by slowly. When we are highly stimulated with cherished experiences, time flies. And again, as we reminisce about a past experience, time flies in our memory of that experience. With these glitches in how we perceive the passing of time, what guarantee is there that we will wash our hands for the prescribed 20 seconds?

When we are in a rush, say we are hungry and rushing to the canteen, based on evidence, time flies. So we may think that we washed our hands for 20 seconds. But we probably didn’t. And alas! The soap molecules did not have sufficient time to do their magic on the virus. So now some virus is still on your hand!

Johnny! Johnny! Wash Your Hands!

So we sought the help of Johnny’s dad to keep watch 😉 He says he is available to keep a watch on anyone, anywhere in the world, as long as you know English and know his family rhyme!

All he will do is ask you questions as you wash. As you answer him, hopefully correctly, you will be distracted. All while having an exhilarating interaction with him. And just like that 20 seconds passed in a snap! Your hands are now sanitized!As we were making this intervention, we came across Wash Your Lyrics. Checkout them as well, to seek more poets’ help.

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