In my senior year of high school, I was ensconced in solitude – not so much in an angsty “pity me” way, but rather in an “I can’t wait to get out of here” kind of way. I would purposefully push other people away to avoid making any sort of human connection. Mostly, however, I was grasping at the idea of a future where I could meet like-minded people and be able to establish real connections. The more that I went through high school, the more I realized I didn’t have those connections; I had acquaintances with whom I would share an occasional laugh – acquaintances who would sometimes refer to me as their “gay best friend.” Dynamics like these were what really deterred me from meeting people.

Currently, it feels like I haven’t truly interacted with another person since before the pandemic. While I now attend classes and go to work in the morning, something still seems off; I feel a profound disconnect from those around me, and while I could pretend like this experience is unique,  I know that it’s not. Especially after so many months of social distancing, it feels as though we have forgotten how to be human.