The unforeseen benefits of lockdown | Letters

I can appreciate Richard Friedman’s concerns about the damage lockdown can do to our brains and mental states (If you’re ecstatic after a trip to the shops, it’s your brain thanking you for the novelty, 25 March), but am surprised that he does not mention the new opportunities provided by technology for exploration and novel experiences.

Each day brings an array of conferences, discussions and debates, bringing people from around the globe together in ways undreamed of only a short while ago. Using Zoom or Microsoft Teams, I have been able to attend, learn and contribute to a range of topics, some totally new to me, but fascinating – and opening new interests.

Instead of the annual Christmas card, I have seen and talked to family and friends from all over the world. I know not everybody has the means to take advantage of this technology. Of course, Richard also knows that his mice cannot use Zoom.
Frank Land
Totnes, Devon

Richard Friedman’s piece made some excellent points about lockdown being really bad for our brains, especially in relation to young people.

For many of us older people, though, it’s been a period when we’ve also realised just how many people care for us, and we for them, too, which had been largely missing from our lives before. This pandemic has also given us time for reflection over the last year on the wonder of inhabiting an awesome planet, which we need to respect and nurture, and that we may have been taking for granted. This is not to say that Covid has been a blessing – just not an unmitigated curse.
Ya’ir Klein

I had just finished Richard Friedman’s article on the depressing effects of lockdown on the brain when a text message arrived from my daughter, who is 15 years married. She was wondering why I had addressed her birthday card, just received, to her maiden name, something I had never done previously.

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Thanks to Professor Friedman’s most interesting article, I was able to retain some dignity by offering her a scientific reason rather than a flimsy excuse.
Louise Smith
King’s Lynn, Norfolk



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