When S got COVID, letting us know on a group text we had mostly used before to schedule dinners, we all texted her privately to tell her she’d be fine, to comfort her, to ask her how she was. You’re young and healthy, we said. We crowdsourced breathing exercises from doctors and advice from friends of friends and sent them to the group. But also, it was April in New York and there were sirens all day and night outside our windows. To one another, in a separate group, we texted questions. We commiserated over the fact that, really, we had no idea if she’d be fine.
There is something particular about right now that seems primed for the group text. It’s a group, first and foremost, when those feel mostly not allowed. Also, it’s low-impact: at a time when nearly every choice or utterance feels weighted, you can