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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Kim

Will You Be My Quarantine?

Love is in the air! Along with a virus and pandemic. Just like everything else this past year, Valentine’s Day looked a little different for most of us. With the inability to go out and the distancing restrictions, the celebration didn’t seem as full of love. There just wasn’t that spark of romance or feeling of friendship that always lingers with the day. However, just like other events changed by the pandemic, many people celebrated the best they could given the situation.

Though the day was different due to situations surrounding the pandemic and--not so surprisingly--the weather, many still tried to celebrate Valentine’s Day in some way. Extra precautions needed to be taken, but there was still fun to find in order to celebrate. One future university student I spoke with said how she and her fiance “ordered in fancy takeout”, both avoiding the restrictions and snowy roads. This seemed to be the most popular date idea for many quarantined couples. Others were wary of the weather conditions earlier on in the week, so they celebrated the day preceding Valentine’s. And then there were some who carried the burden of working on Valentine’s Day, having no way to avoid the chaotic circumstances.

Will changing our normal celebrations alter how we perceive them? During the pandemic, many of us have felt different about the holidays, myself included. Though the implemented restrictions have impacted us day to day, they may be changing the way we feel about larger aspects of our lives, such as holidays. A trend I saw with the people I spoke with was that Valentine’s Day just wasn’t as celebratory this year. Whether that’s because they could not see their loved ones due to the pandemic, or couldn’t go out to celebrate with them because of it, the day just wasn’t as special. It felt more like something we needed to mark in order to move along with the year, the same could have been said for New Year’s.

With all the social distancing, mask-wearing, isolation, and just general feeling of unease that the pandemic has brought, it’s no wonder why we all feel so drained during celebrations and holidays. We now live our lives in bubbles, some of us only communicating face to face via technology, this makes it difficult to carry on with the same amount of joy for celebrations. This could have a long-lasting impact on us after the pandemic is finally over. We may carry over this sense of uncertainty through the years which could change the way we celebrate with one another. Though holidays and celebrations are more about the day itself (usually), it’s incredibly foreboding the thoughts that arise during celebrations while amidst the pandemic. We all fear being together, yet also fear being apart. We yearn to go out and have fun, but don’t want to risk catching and spreading the virus. This constant state of not knowing what’s best to do has everyone questioning the joy celebrations usually bring.

Though all the uncertainty and restrictions surrounding the virus put a damper on the love that tends to float through the air on Valentine’s Day, many still tried to recognize it in some way. Even despite the extra obstacle of snowy weather people tried to do something special to honor the day. The pandemic could potentially be changing the way we view celebrations; however, we shouldn’t let that stop us from recognizing and embracing them. Doing so allows us to hold onto some normalcy that may inspire us to keep living and loving to the next holiday.


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