Now that millions of people are isolated at home, Modern Love is seeking personal stories of lives transformed by sudden solitude.
More people live alone today in the United States than at any other time in history — a seismic shift from even a half-century ago, and one that is increasingly common across the world. Being alone and feeling lonely are not the same thing, of course. And many people who live by themselves may in fact spend little time alone, leading rich social and working lives as they go about their day to day.
Or at least they did.
In the midst of a pandemic, millions of people have suddenly found themselves marooned at home, alone, for weeks or perhaps even months.
Are you someone who lives alone right now? We want to hear from you.
Please tell us, in 500 words or fewer, about this unexpected and probably involuntary period of isolation in your life.
What has surprised you the most, good or bad? What feels intolerable or rewarding? What’s darkly funny? How are you coping — or struggling to cope — in this new reality where your only human interaction is confined to a screen or conducted behind masks at a safe distance? Do you worry about going without human touch, much less sexual intimacy, for too long? Do you find your circumstances horrifying, calming or just plain boring?
Tell us your best and most revealing story of this strange time in your life. We plan to publish the most moving and surprising entries we receive. If we are interested in your story, an editor will contact you.
Deadline for submissions: Sunday, May 3, 2020, by 11:59 p.m. ET
To complement your narrative, please consider submitting one or all of the photos requested below, along with a short description of what’s pictured in each.