In the latest season of Netflix’s intensely entertaining hit Ozark, Jason Bateman’s character, Marty Byrde, is kidnapped by the Navarro drug cartel and taken to Mexico, where he is tortured and beaten for several days before ultimately being allowed to return home to Missouri, and his family. Upon his return, his brother-in-law Ben notes that the ordeal seems to have changed Marty in profound yet barely detectable ways, keenly observing “that looks like Marty, walks like Marty, sounds like Marty, but that is 100% not Marty Byrde.”

If something about that description feels oddly resonant or intimately familiar to you these days, you are not alone. As 2020 continues to grind on with a relentless parade of distressing events, the question now is: how many more Marty Byrdes are there among us, outwardly presenting as the same person but knowing inside that they feel very different and, in many cases, quite a bit worse than when the year began?

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