PRIOR to the outbreak of the coronavirus, enabled by the ease of international travel and sometimes cheap airfares, many couples in long distance relationships would have been able to visit each other quite often throughout the year.
But now, even with flights being dirt-cheap, travel bans and fear of contracting the potentially life-threatening disease has forced many people into self-isolation as they try to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Certainly, being kept apart by this pandemic has left many long-distance lovers lonely and frustrated. But these couples have been going above and beyond to make sure that they keep in touch with their significant others, using every medium possible to stay in touch.
Marsha, beautician, 38:
I was supposed to go up to see my fiancé and the virus has kept me back, but since we are both at home we just keep each other's company. We talk throughout the day using video chat for hours and when the Internet is down I just make sure I have on the plan to call him straight. It keeps me feeling close to him and I am happy to know that he is okay, with all the craziness that is happening.
Keith, banker, 35:
My fiancée was supposed to come here. It's much easier for her because her job is more flexible, but with our borders closed she is unable to. One more day and she would have made it! But since we can't help the situation, we use the regular channels that most people are using — we FaceTime, we use Skype and we will use WhatsApp, but I am not all that fond of it.
Judeen, teacher 41:
Because of everything going on we do a mix of things. We have virtual dates — I cook, he mostly orders take out, and we set up our video chat via Skype and have dinner together. We sometimes get naughty on these video chats. Then throughout the day when I have school online we text and I call him when we have breaks.
Mickael, events manager, 29:
Being away from my spouse is really hard. She has been on a work programme overseas since December. It's kinda scary because the virus is spreading so fast and she doesn't have anybody there. She is in a country area and the Internet is not too great, but when it works we video call, and we talk for the whole day really because none of us have work. I try to assure her that things will be okay. I make sure she wakes up to a beautiful reminder of our love and why she is important, even if she falls asleep while she is on the phone with me.
Shaneika, nurse, 32:
Between the need to be extra vigilant, making a more concerted effort to protect myself, and the double shifts, it's hard. I barely want to touch my phone or put it on my face. The virus seems to be changing its behaviour so often! My partner knows this and he is very understanding, but I need to do more when I get breaks. For now, we catch up on video calls for like half an hour to an hour when I get home. I'm usually too tired to stay up longer. I call him on my way to work and talk to him while on the way, and sometimes I will send a sweet message to him just let him know I am thinking about him.