In the last few months I’ve been asked the following many times at webinars: is it acceptable to tell my examiners that “lockdown(s) slowed me down when I was doing my research” if I’ve had to change my plans or not been able to accomplish as much as I wanted?
And my response would be, “Of course!”
If over the last year or so your work has had to change direction, or if you’ve had to do less in some way, then it’s fair for you to emphasise that. We live in exceptional times – your PhD has been completed in exceptional circumstances.
It’s fair to tell your examiners about the challenges you’ve faced in your viva. Beforehand, consider how you can best communicate that. How personal do you want to be? What details do you want to share? How can you communicate the paths that you would have taken? And how do you share what steered your choice in the new directions you had to go?