Claire Manship belted songs out the window. Ketaki Chowkhani began barking at a stray puppy. Blake Mitchell performed in drag.
As millions of people grapple with isolation in a pandemic, those who live alone face a particular kind of solitude.
More people live alone now than at any other time in history, a seismic shift from even a half-century ago, and one fueled largely by women’s economic rise.
Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing, of course, and many people who live by themselves spend little time alone.
Until, perhaps, a pandemic hits.
Weeks or months into the stay-at-home orders worldwide, we wanted to know how solo dwellers were faring. What were they doing to keep themselves occupied? What did they most long for? What did they feel liberated to live without?
More than 2,000 readers shared their stories and their photos. Here are some of them.
Jessica Bennett, Daniel Jones and Anya Strzemien
It’s a relief or a nightmare, irritating and liberating, and already, for many, interminable. This is living alone in a pandemic.