(CNN)It was like I had asked her to fork over her Social Security number and firstborn child.
"What do you need it for? What are you going to do with it?" my colleague asked me, Zoom eyes wide with fear.
"Whoa there," I wanted to say. There was no need to get concerned.
I had simply asked a coworker for a straightforward piece of information that in normal times would have evoked little more than an "OK, no problem," in response.
Of course, these aren't normal times.
It wasn't just my coworker. I noticed that so many people in my life -- friends, family, even myself since I'm being honest -- had taken a pill from the paranoid jar. Everyone seemed jumpier, more nervous, frightened, even when it came to topics that had little to do with the deadly contagion knocking on doors all around us. I talked to an immunocompromised ICU nurse, a schoolteacher, a transit worker's spouse. All agreed they were more paranoid since Covid-19 overtook daily life.