In an episode of the American sitcom Parks and Recreation, it's suggested that, to appeal to all voters, a public mural would have to have absolutely no viewpoint, no matter how vague or seemingly pro-American. A city planner suggests a picture of an old man, sitting on a bench, feeding pigeons in the park.

But I think this also has a viewpoint, but a subtler, sadder one.

It matters that an old man is alone, feeding pigeons, in a park. America is staggeringly lonely, older men are the most lonely group, and otherwise empty public squares are a direct challenge to the preconceived ideas about how to help. It's not about building spaces. Community isn't like that.

This is a challenging time, and a deeply sad number of Americans are dying alone right now, isolated to prevent the spread of disease to the most vulnerable among us. That's not just how things are supposed to be, and when this is over, we should remember, that's not how we want them to be either.