Okay, so I’m definitely stealing the title of this blog post from many things I’ve seen and heard recently – it’s a short story title, a magazine column title, and a rip from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel “Love in the Time of Cholera.” But, I love love and I love talking about things that make me feel warm and fuzzy these days to offset all the bad I seem to hear every time I turn on the news these days, so why not write about it?
Well, let me start out by saying that love in the time of COVID-19 is not all warm and fuzzy and wonderful. Love in the time of COVID-19 is HARD. I’m not just talking about romantic love; I’m talking about friend love and family love, too. I’m the kind of person who conveys how much I love through quality time and in-person actions. The times that I feel love the strongest are when I’m baking cookies and watching bad movies with my friends, or getting together with extended family for a BBQ, or giving a long hug to those I cherish the most. COVID-19 is denying me these seemingly simple pleasures of love, and that’s why it is so hard.
I absolutely love talking to my friends over zoom and facetime, but there’s a feeling of something being a little bit off…like when we accidentally talk over each other and have to repeat ourselves, or have audio problems, or have screen lags when we try to watch movies. It’s those little moments – even when we can shake them off easily and move on – that remind me how things aren’t quite the same, and can never quite be the same as being together in person. And I talk to my boyfriend for over an hour every night, but it gets harder and harder each day to have to press the “end call” button and feel the suddenly overwhelming awareness of being completely alone.
But this post was intended to be positive, so I want to make it that way. Yes, talking over zoom and facetime might not be the same, but how lucky am I to have that possibility? How awesome is it that I have friends who can carry on conversations for hours about the most random things? How grateful am I to have someone who loves me in any circumstance and always goes the extra mile to make me feel that way?
Every single person has to adapt to these new and ever-changing times, and the way we approach and disseminate love has had to change radically as well. But I feel that love that I crave so much every time we have a zoom call with my extended family, or my friends and I stream movies together, or when I’m able to talk about anything and everything with those who are closest to me and know everything about me. And I feel love every time I see something good in the news – the glimmer of light and hope on the horizon that can feel so so dark sometimes.
If anything, Love in the time of COVID-19 is a story about persistence, resilience, adaptation, and making things work as best as we can because it’s worth it.