Features Love in the Time of Corona

Love in the time of Corona: The modern parody of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

It’s no well-kept secret that along with the inability to venture out of our homes and see our loved ones in person, that love, and sex have taken just as big of a hit since the first lockdown began.

Gone were the nights of club hopping, casual sex, and (intimate) Tinder dates. Weddings were postponed and some were even unwillingly separated from their partner or spouse.

The ones who feel the weight of the pandemic the most are perhaps those of us in a long-distance relationship as borders are shut and governments have made it illegal to see the person you love.

The modern parody of Romeo and Juliet, long-distance couples are told they cannot see each other, and the worst part is that there is no time limit posed.

As the pandemic rages on and we are shifting into another lockdown, as have many other countries around the globe, it seems as though there will never be an end to this separation unless couples are willing to break the law or risk contracting the virus by putting themselves in harm’s way.

Having expressed their frustration across the internet, LD couples are raging at the world’s governments’ perception that love is not something worth excusing. Throughout the summer, #Loveisnottourism and #Loveisessential were trending whilst individuals continue to share their plights on other social media accounts and news sites around the world.

Each have their own story with its own set of struggles, whether it’s having been separated at the beginning of their relationship, to spouses of 30 years being separated due to work or immigration.
There is, however, one consensus amongst them all. The worst part of it is definitely not knowing when they will see the ones they love.
In July of 2020, Norway and a handful of other EU nations allowed for cross-border couples to reunite by easing travel restrictions for couples who were torn apart during the pandemic.

There are still thousands of couples, however, who are still separated and doing whatever they can to hold on to hope that they will see each other soon.

One of these couples involved a young man in Australia and one of our students right here in Edinburgh who met due to a fortunate series of events and found each other after emptying a bottle of gin one night.

Now, separated by thousands and thousands of miles and by different circumstances, they decided to share their story with us.

Having met only a short time before Covid came about, they were only in the beginning stages of their relationship when the young Australian had to return home.

The Edinburgh student now found herself alone and as they were both struggling to settle into a routine that worked, the pandemic happened.

Plans to see each other were cancelled and as the Australian borders shut, they did whatever they could to find a way to still feel connected to each other.

They had weekly dates where they baked and watched movies, fell asleep on the phone with each other, and sent care packages to remind the other that they were always in each other’s thoughts.
When asked what keeps them going through the not knowing, this couple remarked that the way they feel about each other is worth holding onto and that if they can get through this, then they can get through anything in time.

To some, what might seem like a star-crossed romance written almost as well as by the bard himself, is actually the story of perseverance, patience, and hope.

Though there are wars raging all around us: biological, political, etc., we must continue to hold on to those we love.

If you find yourself in a long-distance relationship right now or miss the ability to connect with other people physically in more ways than one, remember that you are not alone.

We cannot always control everything that happens to us, but we can control the way we respond. And hope, to this couple and for us here at The Student, is important to hold on to no matter what.
Love in the time of Corona is one of our newest editions to Features and will be a recurring column, so be on the lookout for more stories to come, hopefully a bit lighter in the long run!

If you have any wild stories of your own regarding love, sex, and relationships during Covid, reach out to us at Features!

Image: Wikimedia Commons

By Ece Kucuk

Ece Kucuk served as President of The Student in 2021/22 and is currently a regular contributor to the paper. She was previously Head Editor-in-Chief and Features Editor, she has also been a writer at The Student for over two years. She is going into her Fourth Year of a Master of Arts with Honours in English Language and Literature and plans to do her Postgraduate in Education and Child Development. She has written for every section of the paper as well as written for The Rattlecap and other publications. Some of her favourite works include her reflection on being the child of an immigrant, her piece on introducing ice hockey, as well as her interview with children’s author Mariam James.