In the year since the pandemic began, people learned to be together while apart and navigated the pain of feeling apart while together. Screens, small and large, became crucial links to the rest of the world.
Activities and routines that commanded crowds — visiting museums, attending concerts, working out, learning, traveling, partying — ceased or found a new life online. Holidays usually celebrated by family gatherings became fraught with consequences.
Memories of a prepandemic world, where people could stand shoulder to shoulder with faces bare, began to feel like dreams — as did moments of unexpected connection.
Engagements and pregnancy announcements seemed to pop up constantly on social media. And there were plenty of weddings.
increased. Eventually, emotional and physical needs began to weigh heavy, and people across the country found ways to meet and hook up within the confines of their comfort.