'Hello, how are you?" says the voice at the other end of the line. At a time when we can't see one another, a phone call, that friendly voice in your ear saying your name, has come to mean so much.
Yes, we have Zoom and WhatsApp video calls and Skype, but it's hard to beat the humble phone call - that familiar voice asking how you're keeping and what you're up to.
A call to your mum who's cocooning, your sister who's homeschooling the kids and glad to take a break, your old school friend who you've been meaning to call for ages - these plain old voice calls, a medium that's been going out of fashion for years, are everyday threads that connect us with our lives pre-Covid-19.
Who would've thought that with so many other ways of connecting, the humble phone call, this relatively low-tech means of communication, would come to be so important in our daily lives?
Not since my teenage years, when I would stretch the phone flex as far and long as I could to sit yapping for hours about the intricacies of life with my best friend, have I spent so much time on the phone.
There's something comforting about having a real conversation now. A text message doesn't quite cut it. The WhatsApp video call and Zoom can be distracting, particularly when other family members insist on walking through your conversation.
With a phone call, you can sequester yourself in a quiet place and do nothing but engage with the person at the end of the line for a time and savour the sound of that voice in your ear, listening for the inflections in tone when you ask them how they really are.
In a world where we had become so busy, where we put off making a call because it would take too much time, the simple call in these times is akin to saying: "You are important to me."
And while the phone is providing a portal into the lives of our loved ones at a time when we can't see them, it's a lifeline for many others who are weighed down by the loneliness and stress of this time.
Connecting voice to voice is something that Alone, the charity supporting older people at home, does every day. Since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, the organisation has received in excess of 12,000 calls from older people.
And in the space of three weeks, Alone's volunteers have made 30,000 phone calls to people on their own.
Seán Moynihan, the organisation's CEO, says there's no way to measure the importance of these daily check-ins on the lives of the people who volunteers call every day.
Many of these people were already lonely and this is exacerbated by the place we now find ourselves in. But Moynihan says the simple call is a game-changer. It also allows volunteers to find out what the person's needs are and draw them out about what resources they might need.
What Moynihan hopes for is that older people will emerge after this crisis feeling confident and hopeful about life. In the meantime, Alone's volunteers will keep calling, keep making sure they are not leaving anyone out. "We can talk about things, we can plan for a better day," he says.
The country's youngest citizens are also turning to the phone. The ISPCC's Childline receives an average of 1,000 contacts every day from children and young people up to the age of 18 over phone, online chat and text. However, the phone continues to be the way in which most children and young people contact the listening service. On the first week in which schools closed in March, the service noted an increase of almost 9pc in phone engagements. Among the issues being raised by children and young people are abuse, violence and mental health difficulties. These things don't stop in a pandemic.
Moynihan believes that this time offers us an opportunity to engage in a way we haven't before by picking up the phone to check in on people who might be delighted to hear a voice on the other end of the line. While so many of the comforts of our world have changed, he believes we are not powerless here and our voices can be forces for good.
So what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone. Even if you've done nothing for the past 12 hours, it's good to talk.