Love Letter: Befriending the UPS Man Kept Her Sane

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Some have found that making new friends during the pandemic is as easy as opening the front door.

Danielle Festino, the writer of this week’s Modern Love essay, felt trapped in her studio apartment in the early days of self-isolation. As she shifted from a robust social life to days without human interaction, her UPS delivery man (and her countless online orders) became her lifeline. Soon she began to look forward to their conversations (with him standing masked at the edge of her porch, and her in the doorway) more than the packages being delivered. Over time, they forged a meaningful friendship that transcended her doorstep.

The connection between Sarah Lenz and Stephen Paskey was instant when they first connected on OkCupid in March 2020. However, the world had shut down by then, and meeting in person became nearly impossible with 2,654 miles between them. In a matter of six weeks, they hatched a plan to close the distance, which involved Mr. Paskey packing up his car and making the journey from Buffalo, N.Y. to Santa Rosa, Calif., where Ms. Lenz lived. The couple married April 3 at the Sea Ranch Chapel in Sea Ranch, Calif.

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As the world awaits a vaccine-driven return to normal, many of us have already begun to dream of a life beyond. Here, our readers and writers reflect on how they’ve changed since the start of the lockdown and some share their hopes for a future filled with gatherings and celebrations (and reasons to finally wear those outfits that have been hanging in our closets for more than a year).

We want to hear from you.

We want to deliver content that truly matters to you and your feedback is helpful. Email your thoughts to loveletter@nytimes.com.

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