So it seems that during this pandemic, a significant number of Arkies has been napping while working from home; starting home Happy Hours well before 5 p.m.; messing up their relationships by drinking during lockdown and abandoning any relationships with calendars. And even though the Natural State is the virtual-party center of the United States, our social isolation may have resulted in our forming new accents.
All this, according to various single-eyebrow-raising survey findings featured in a steady stream of news releases (and one e-newsletter) Yours Truly has received during the past few months.
A breakdown of these surveys, most of whose source websites include infographics:
• A survey of 2,000 American workers by Zippia.com, a company that helps people reach their career goals, found that one in three people working from home nap during work hours. Arkansas is at least below the average; here, a tad over 1 in 5, or 22%, nod off. "While most [American nappers] opt for the bed, 15% are so tired they plop down right at their desks," according to the news release. "With so many workers now working remotely, and temptingly close to their bed ... " Gotcha. I wonder if coffee consumption has gone down, since people don't have to work so hard to appear alert.
• Then there's that early happy-hour time. Instead of tipping out of the office early to head to the bar with friends, the average Arkansas employee working from home starts drinking at 4 p.m., according to Alcohol.org. This resource, provided by American Addiction Centers, surveyed 3,300 work-at-home-ers. Not surprisingly, the news release reveals that "more than 1 in 10 experience more hangovers now than before lockdown," possibly because it's easier to hide them if they're at home and "able to sleep it off for longer." Which could also play into why the Zippia people found all that napping going on.
• More trouble in Liquor Land, and no surprise here: Booze, combined with social distancing, also leads to "strained" relationships for 28% of Arkansas couples, according to another survey by Alcohol.org. Interestingly, nearly 1 in 10 couples, or 8%, say alcohol is an important part of their relationship, and 33% of respondents said their relationships would be in danger of going south if they both went sober. Look, if you have to stay soused in order to get along, something is already amiss in Denmark.
• You don't have to be alcohol-impaired to have no idea what day it is. "Call it the CluelessVirus or CoronaDaze, but researchers have found that a majority of people have become lost in time because of the social distancing measures brought on by the coronavirus that have led people to spend more time in their homes and less time engaging in a variety of activities," according to AccuWeather Global Weather Center (accuweather.com). AccuWeather did a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults and found that the average respondent lost track of what day it was five times a week; "59% of those respondents didn't even know what day it was when they completed the survey." (CoronaDaze, unfortunately, seems to have enabled CoronaDrink: "Now that weekdays and weekends seem to blur together, 1 in 5 people who previously drank only during the weekends say they now drink during the week," according to Alcohol.org.)
• But we keep up with our party days! Turns out Arkansas is the country's hotspot for virtual parties, according to Improb.com, a lifestyle, gear, gadget and style website that sponsored a survey of 3,100 Americans. We've shown up at six virtual parties a week during lockdown; the average times people party online: three days a week.
But wait ... what did you say? It's Atlas Obscura (atlasobscura.com), which brings us true tales of unique places, food and experiences, that carries the story "Prolonged Isolation Can Lead to the Creation of New Accents." Writer Isaac Schultz tells of 11 people isolated during a 2018 assignment in Antarctica who began to rock their own accent as time went on. The assignment was for the British Antarctic Survey; a study on the team's speech was published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
• Which asks the question of how different groups of socially-distanced people will handle having a bluuuuuue (do do da dooooo) Christmas 2020. Nearly half of Arkansans, 46%, don't expect to spend Christmas with their family this year. This survey was brought to us by Christmas.co.uk, provider of Christmas tips, tricks and traditions and involved 3,000 American and British respondents.
Let's hope that we'll at least know what day Christmas is. Meanwhile, let's try to keep up with more than Mondays and Fridays, and get enough sleep at night to give our employers an honest day's work. And let's please not sport any any new accents due to alcohol-slurred speech.