During the harrowing COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, letter writing was often an escape from the day to day drudgery of Zoom meetings and small talk with one's spouse. We're lucky that some of these letters have survived to provide a window into the past of this difficult time in history from the most affected individuals: affluent white people who could work from home just fine and were not immune-compromised.

These are their stories.

Dear Ma,

It's bad out there. The Trader Joe's frozen aisle was completely decimated: no cauliflower crust pizza in sight. I was forced to forage in the back of my pantry, and had to make the lentil soup mix that my weird hippie coworker gave everyone for Christmas. I fear if this continues, I may slip out of ketosis entirely, and may even have to eat a carb to stay alive.

May your body continue to burn fat only,
Your loving daughter

My beloved followers,

I write to you by the dwindling glow of my Himalayan rock salt lamp. It is with a deep sadness in my heart that I must forego my upcoming journey to Thailand. It was my dream to show you how to live simply by staying at a 4-star hotel on the dime of someone else's marketing budget, or remind you how you too can live your dreams by having your parents support you while you try to profit off of selfies you took with a sick elephant. But alas, I am marooned in my 2,000 sq ft apartment, praying I find the courage to post a tutorial for 10 hacks for perfect eyeliner application using household objects.

In solidarity, like and subscribe,

My darling girlfriend,

How long have I been driving this Rainbow Road? I have lost track as the hours have passed, lap after lap. My loneliness is as inescapable as a blue shell, and yet I am taunted by my continued escape to a world where instead of practicing social distancing, I am deliberately crashing into eleven of my closest friends and/or enemies. It's times like these I wonder if God has a divine plan, or if the earth is just resting alone on the back of a Koopa Troopa.

Also, while you're in the kitchen, can you grab me a White Claw? Thanks babe.

Forever yours,
Your 36-year-old boyfriend, currently pretending to be Waluigi

To Chad, my dearest Starbucks barista,

Oh Chad, I fear it may be weeks before I am able to return to you. I hold in my mind's eye the emerald-like shade of your green apron and the way you delicately put the lid on my triple macchiato each morning. I long to hear you call out my name: Order for Karen! Order for Karen! The thought of once again handing you my Visa to spend $7.95 on a cup of coffee is all that is tethering me to this world.

Please know that every time I scoop the Safeway brand ground French roast into my Mr. Coffee, I wish I was with you instead.

Your favorite customer, Carol (but you can keep calling me Karen, it's fine!)

My treasured sales team,

It just isn't the same without you here. I look around this empty conference room table, picturing each of your faces, thinking of what you each would say. Jessica, you would mutter some useless idea. And Brad, you would repeat Jessica's idea, but somehow it would seem much better! How I long for the halcyon days of last Thursday.

Until then, I will continue to hold my post in this office, sacrificing my health and potentially the health of everyone else, for this critical mission: Making sure that I keep getting Bob's Sewing and Vacuum products into the hands of our customers.

It's a dangerous job, but someone has to do it, and if that means I ignore all advice to distance myself from people while also not paying any of you while you've been laid off, that's the sacrifice I have to make. Those golf events aren't going to attend themselves, and that is my cross to bear.

Yours in capitalism,
Bob, CEO Bob's Sewing and Vacuum

To my loving wife,

I fear this is the last letter I will write to you. I hope someday you find these scratchings, etched on a roll of Charmin Ultra. It feels so futile now, as I sit here, slowly being crushed by the bounty of toilet paper I fought so hard to collect. I wonder, is it possible that amassing a 12-year supply of double-ply was not necessary? Will this be my legacy, buried alive by my own quilted folly? I liquidated my assets and alienated my community for the thrill of power and a sparkly clean ass.

Nah, It was worth it. My dying wish is that the toilet paper stays in our family after I'm gone. Bury it in the backyard if needed.

Your ever-faithful husband

P.S. Stop yelling at me that I'm being overdramatic!