MANGONIA PARK, Fla. —
Are your memories becoming a blur? Are you forgetting even the simple things?
“It’s been a long haul,” said Derrick McCray.
That’s how the owner of McCray’s Backyard Barbeque and Seafood in Mangonia Park describes the past two years of his life.
“I had forgotten a lot of stuff,” he said.
In 2020, he was sick with COVID-19 for months and believes it affected his memory.
“I could not feel the sharpness or clarity that I needed to go back and say, yeah, I faintly remember this, and somebody would say you don’t remember this or you don’t remember that and I would say I’m trying,” McCray said.
Dr. James Goldenberg, a neurologist and co-founder of the Jem Research Institute hasn’t treated McCray, but said many people have experienced some form of memory loss.
“The pandemic has had a significant impact on people’s memory. Several contributing factors I think stress, anxiety, depression, and isolation can all impact memory,” Goldenberg said.
He believes some people will be affected more than others.
“It’s that sense that you’re having trouble thinking of things, you’re having trouble recalling things, the sense that your brain and your mind are moving more slowly,” Goldenberg said.
He adds people may forget common things, like they might misplace an item.
“Talk about forget the keys, forget where I’d put them. I’m in the car and I’m getting ready to turn on the car and I’m like hold up I don’t have keys. Then I walk back in the house and don’t remember where I sat them. And I’m tearing up everything looking for them and they’re sitting right on the counter,” McCray said.
For McCray, it was oftentimes the simple things he would forget, like names and faces.
“I had to go back and look at old pictures, old TV clips, certain points in history, for me to catch back up to where I’m at today,” McCray said.
If you feel like your memory isn’t quite what it used to be, first of all, remember we are all two years older.
Goldenberg said there are some things you can do to improve your memory work on improving your sleep, avoid alcohol, caffeine or even eating before bedtime.
A good diet and nutrition can also help. Socialization is also key — being around people can lift your mood.