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Will the coronavirus make permanent our diminishing need for human contact?

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Will the coronavirus make permanent our diminishing need for human contact?
Photo: A man wearing a mask walks at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. (Lee Jin-man / Associated Press). Article by Victoria KimLA Times.

Before dawn, bags of groceries ordered online are plopped at my front door by deliverymen (-women?) whose faces I’ll never see. I summon taxis on my smartphone, rendering unnecessary even the brief conversation to give the driver my destination or discuss an optimal route. All manners of food — from steaming stews to sushi to the seemingly most ephemeral of dishes, shaved ice — can be ordered for delivery within the hour. If I so choose, I can avoid even a split-second of face time by requesting, in an app, that the food be left outside my door. In Seoul, one of the most densely packed metropolises in the world, I can glide through a day dining out, shopping and even singing karaoke on my own without ever interfacing with another human. My world is one of apps, tablets and self-service screens. It’s almost as if the city was girding itself for this moment in history, when each and every face-to-face interaction has come to feel like a game of Russian roulette. […]

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