After 18 months of limited in-person social interaction, I have forgotten the art of conversation. Or, worse, it may be that I have lost the desire to have any conversations at all. I choose WhatsApp voice notes over phone calls, and perfunctory Zoom meetings over leisurely coffees. What started out as a Covid-era symptom has lingered; now it’s a habit, a kind of communicative long Covid.

This is rather depressing. What is the point of being the most social creatures in the animal kingdom if we are not going to, you know, chat?..

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