A Pandemic Is Hard Enough. For Some, Being Single Has Made It Harder.

The coronavirus pandemic has been rough on virtually everyone.

But those who have been single through the isolation, fear and upheaval say they’ve been confronted with a distinct set of challenges — not necessarily more or less severe than those who are coupled up, but different. Some who said they were content with being single before the pandemic have nonetheless struggled with what they’re missing in emotional support and even routine physical touch.

“The first few months I thought: ‘This is OK, I can work on myself,’” said Gagan Bhatnagar, 35, a clinical oncology consultant in London. “But then it just dragged on. One day I realized it had been three months since I had touched a human being.”

With a widely shared Twitter thread in December, Mr. Bhatnagar tapped into a wide range of single angst. The thousands of responses he received indicated single people often felt their needs were being overlooked or dismissed, and they frequently felt guilty about expressing them. What’s a bit of mopey loneliness when others are dying?

While everyone has their own level of comfort with being single — there are plenty of people perfectly fine spending time alone — those who responded to