Last year was the year of sourdough baking and jigsaw puzzles — and of trying to work with a toddler screaming in the same room. It was the year of commuting from the bedroom to the living room for those able to work from home, and of harrowing, masked bus rides for many of those who had to go to work in person. It was a year of profound loneliness for those trapped in nursing homes, and of too much togetherness for those quarantining in too-small apartments.

It was a year, in other words, when the pandemic changed life for everyone, but in different ways.

The American Time Use Survey every year asks thousands of people to track every minute of a single day. Most years, the data reflects the ways in which changes in technology, society and the economy subtly shift how we spend our days. For 2020, it reflected the sudden rupture of daily life.


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