Anna: “Living alone during a pandemic and a quarantine can be an up and down rollercoaster of self-care and self-destruction. I think I have fared well so far, but each day brings a bit of a surprise in terms of how my outlook will be.

The funniest moment I had this year was when I had gone camping alone in early spring, which I do often, and somehow managed to bring home a hitchhiker. I was checking myself for ticks, a feat at which I consider myself a pro since living alone helps a gal garner many exciting life skills. I got to the center of my right shoulder-blade—the one spot I couldn’t quite reach—and felt a tiny bump that was definitely out of place. Sure enough, I had a tick just starting to dig in.

And what does a person do with this, in quarantine, in 2020, in an apartment alone?

The only thing I could think was to head for the neighbors. My nearest, Walt and Allison, are as good as they come but they weren’t available. Same for Lillie and Mary a few houses down. I stepped off their porch a bit at a loss because THIS is not something you plan for in these times, and spotted a neighbor on his porch and a couple with a stroller, conversing in masks and at a safe distance. I sighed out loud (seriously) and headed over where I abruptly said ‘Hi, this is going to be the weirdest thing you hear in quarantine, but can someone get this tick out of my back please?’

Thankfully, my neighbor did not hesitate and instead he hopped off his porch with a neighborly, ‘Sure, no problem!’ and promptly removed the offending hanger-on. He handed it back to me in tweezers, I thanked him, and walked off toward home, realizing I didn’t even introduce myself or say ‘Hey, I’m your neighbor’ just… some random gal with a stuck tick.

So, this quarantine and this year have both come with immense challenges, sometimes pretty hilarious and sometimes not. I have been lucky to have a place that I feel comfortable calling home, and a network of folks who have not let me drown in alone-ness. I know in a new way what ‘alone’ means in all the aspects I can think of, and I know that the most important part of being alone is building community. It may sound strange, but in all of this I’ve known that being alone AND having a community to call has made all the difference for me.”

Lexington in the Time of COVID-19 is an artwork about people practicing social distancing at a time of a deadly virus. And also offering kindness.

Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova capture photographs at the periphery of American culture, where drag queens, discarded couches, and abandoned motel signs exist.