Over the past year or so, Kate had spent less and less time working jigsaw puzzles on her iPad. Prior to that, she spent 6-8 hours a day working puzzles. It was her only self-initiated activity. I started to record her weekly screen time in order to get a better idea of the changes in her usage. In November and December, she averaged 3-5 hours a week, far below her past usage. It continued that way until mid-January when it dropped to 2-3 hours a week.
Enter sheltering-in-place. April’s weekly figures are 1 hour 49 minutes, 1 hour 59 minutes, 1 hour 35 minutes, and this past week, 38 minutes. In terms of daily averages the figures (in minutes) are 16 , 17, 14 (includes a day that I worked puzzles for at least 30 minutes one day demonstrating how it is done), and 5.4 for the week ending today.
The figures clearly indicate that her use of the iPad is almost a thing of the past. This change makes it more understandable why I spend more time with her now. She no longer has anything that she can do on her own. She does sometimes look at her photo books while the sitter is here but not for long.
It is also interesting that the most significant drop off occurred since we have been home bound. I might have expected an increase; however, even with the added time I spend with her, she has been less active since the changes Covid-19 has brought with it. The kind of things I do with her are more sedentary like looking at photo books. She tires quickly and wants to rest. I have gotten her out for very brief walks up and down the street, but those are a rarity. I think the decrease in stimulation has affected her ability to work her puzzles. When she works them, I spend a lot more time helping her than in the past. I don’t mean to suggest that sheltering is the only reason for the change. That had started long before any of us had heard of the Coronavirus. I just believe sheltering is another factor affecting her. It adds to my belief that the active lifestyle we maintained for so long paid dividends for us that we couldn’t fully appreciate until now.