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Social isolation changed the way we communicate. When my family and I began to quarantine last March, shifting my junior year at Taylor Allderdice High School online, suddenly every single social interaction I had was intentional. Every exchange was with someone I knew very well—I wasn’t striking up a conversation with a classmate in the minutes before my physics class would start or running into an old friend inside the Rite Aid down the street from my house. I was only keeping in touch with those closest to me, and, like most people, I wasn’t making an effort to reach out to the people I kind of knew.
But that distinction, at the time, felt like a drop in the bucket of societal changes brought by the worsening spread of a deadly virus. As the days of quarantine dragged into weeks and then months, it manifested itself in different ways: Some people cut their own bangs, tried their hand at home hair dye, shaved slits in their eyebrows.