Robin Harper, an administrative assistant at a preschool on Martha’s Vineyard, grew up showering every day.
“It’s what you did,” she said. But when the coronavirus pandemic forced her indoors and away from the general public, she started showering once a week.
The new practice felt environmentally virtuous, practical and freeing. And it has stuck.
“Don’t get me wrong,” said Ms. Harper, 43, who has returned to work. “I like showers. But it’s one thing off my plate. I’m a mom. I work full-time, and it’s one less thing I have to do.”
The pandemic upended the use of zippered pants and changed people’s eating and drinking habits. There are now indications that it has caused some Americans to become more spartan when it comes to ablutions.
Parents have complained that their teenage children are forgoing daily showers. After the British media reported on a YouGov survey that showed 17 percent of Britons had abandoned daily showers during the pandemic, many people on Twitter said they had done the same.
Heather Whaley, a writer in Redding, Conn., said her shower use had fallen by 20 percent in the past year.
After the pandemic forced her into lockdown, Ms. Whaley, 49, said she began thinking about why she was showering every day.
“Do I need to? Do I want to?” she said. “The act of taking a shower became less a matter of function and more of a matter of doing something for myself that I enjoyed.”
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