Robin Harper, an administrative assistant at a preschool in Martha’s Vineyard, grew up showering every day. “It’s what you did,” she said.
But when the pandemic forced her indoors and away from the 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 — I like showers,” said Ms. Harper, 43, who has returned to work. “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 has upended the use of zippered pants and changed many people’s eating and drinking habits. And there are now indications that it has caused some Americans to become more spartan when it comes to ablutions.
Parents say that their teenage children are forgoing daily showers. After the British news media reported on a YouGov survey showing that 17 percent of people in Britain had abandoned daily showers during the pandemic, many on Twitter said they had done the same.
Heather Whaley, 49, a writer in Redding, Conn., said that her shower use had dropped 20 percent in the past year. After the pandemic forced her into lockdown, she said, she began considering 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.”
(An earlier version of this item misspelled the name of the town.)