How the Nebulous Concept of Time Became Impossibly Distorted During the Worldwide Pandemic

In a brilliant report for Vox, filmmaker Sindha Agha takes a look at the incredibly nebulous concept of time as it existed in the past and how the pandemic has distorted time to such an extent that it’s become unrecognizable in a way that we aren’t able to process. Agha compares this distortion to the phenomenon of “impossible colors”, which are intermediate hues within the spectrum that don’t appear in ordinary visual functioning. She also cites the use of metronomes as being too structured for counting out this new fuzzy perception of time.

Time resembles color in other ways, too — we can only access the smallest sliver of both spectrums. Non-linearity and relativity remind me of ultraviolet and red-green — what scientists call the “Impossible Colors,” colors we can measure, but can’t actually see. And like color, time is continuous. …Maybe we’ve been too fixated on fixing our metronomes when what we need most is vocabulary for these new colors of time.

How the pandemic distorted time

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.