When Peter Fenton learned Tuesday that he would be on a hastily arranged Zoom conference call, he carefully repositioned a lamp to make sure he had good lighting.

The 24-year-old wasn’t going to such trouble to make a good impression for a work meeting. The primping was for a social call. He, his parents, his older brother and sister, and their partners held a virtual happy hour over Zoom, which has become a platform of choice for individuals desperate for human contact amid coronavirus-mandated social distancing.

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