This article was originally published in the Wall Street Journal

There’s a special boost that only old friends can give us. Here’s why we need it now.

Earlier in the pandemic, Kevin Masters found himself longing for his old buddy Ron.

The two men met in 1990, on a train from Indianapolis to Salt Lake City. In their early 30s at the time, they struck up a conversation while waiting in line in the snack car, then continued talking for hours. When they arrived in Utah, they exchanged numbers.

Over the next few years, Kevin and Ron and their wives became close. They gathered for birthdays and ballgames, shared meals and confidences, and celebrated the arrival of their firstborns.