As the Valentine Day on Febrary 14 unfolds amid the coronavirus pandemic that originated 14 months ago, couples recollect how it has taken a toll on their romantic relationships. As social distancing is one of the keys to stopping the spread of the virus, it has changed the equation of relationships among men and women, and there are several people who now share love and intimacy only in a virtual mode.
Go, bath, and come to bed
Sriram (name changed on request), a medical representative by profession shared his COVID-19 romantic experience. As Sriram used to visit hospitals regularly, his wife is pretty much bothered about her husband being a Covid carrier, and on several days, she refused to come nearer him even when he develops a minor cough.
"I used to reach my home at around 7.00 PM every day. Even though I am using masks and sanitizers every day without fail, my wife used to ask me to take bath from an outside toilet in my compound before entering the house. There are several days when I was denied entry to the bedroom when I cough for once for unknown reasons," says Sriram.
Lovers facing troubles
Apart from married couples, loving duos are also facing trouble due to coronavirus outbreak. As coronavirus made colleges closed for several months, there are several couples who failed to properly maintain their romantic relationships. For college students, several studies about the possibility of coronavirus spread through kissing have raised alarm, and it made them stay away from their lovers.
"I was in a private girl's hostel in Thrissur. I had a romantic affair. However, post the coronavirus outbreak, I returned to Thiruvananthapuram, my homeland. One day, I got a call from my lover, and he told me that he is coming to Thiruvananthapuram to meet me. I felt shocked and afraid, as I was very much aware that we will engage in physical intimacy as we are meeting after several months. I asked him to wait until the coronavirus scare gets over. My lover had no options other than to agreeing my request," said Sona (pseudonym), a college student.
As the dilemma, surrounding coronavirus and physical intimacy continue to worry people, medical experts suggest that sexual contact may not result in the transmission of COVID-19.
"There is no solid evidence that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be transmitted via genital and anal contact, but it will be passed on via kissing and physical touching, which are common practices during partnered sexual activity," said Marieke Dewitte, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Clinical Psychological Science of the University of Maastricht, Netherlands, Nature.com reports.
Although engaging in sexual and intimate activities with partners who live in the same household is safe as long as none of them have COVID-related symptoms, Dewitte said some people prefer to refrain from all intimacy out of fear of getting or spreading the virus. It remains to be seen how the Valentine's Day will be for all the lovers and couples this year with the pandemic refusing to go off from their lives.