Hi Wolverines. This issue’s It’s Complicated is going to be a little different from the norm. In case you haven’t noticed, everything is complicated right now. So I thought I would answer a couple questions I’ve been seeing on social media and hearing from friends and compile them into one big coronavirus guide.
Love in the Time of Corona
I’ve witnessed a lot of fretting about dating, sex, and relationships during this period of social distancing. Whether you’re social distancing away from your committed partner or are just starting to get to know a promising Tinder match, here’s what you need to know about dating during quarantine.
Physical closeness is one of the easiest ways to spread the virus. It’s why we have the “6 feet apart” rule when we go to the grocery store. Unless you live with your partner or spouse, I would put a hold on getting physical for a while. Even if you and your partner are young and healthy, therefore supposedly in the demographic deemed to be less at risk of getting seriously ill, either one of you may still carry the virus to more vulnerable members of the community, especially if either of you still have to work. It just isn’t worth the risk.
There are many ways to keep a connection alive without putting anyone in danger, whether you’ve been together for a year or a month. FaceTime each other while you cook and eat dinner for a close approximation of a dinner date. Use the Netflix Party browser app to watch a movie together and use the chat feature for your movie commentary. You could get all Jane Austen about it and write actual letters to each other and include portraits and tokens of affection (or “pictures” and “little gifts” if you don’t speak Regency). None of these things are a replacement for a physical connection, but they can do the trick for now. Remember, this won’t last forever.
I would absolutely, unequivocally, not meet up for a quarantine NCMO or hookup right now. You have no idea where that guy from Bumble has been in the past month.
“This is Fine”
If you’re anything like me, it’s been nearly impossible to tear yourself away from the news. There are new developments hourly, not just daily at this point in the outbreak. While it’s good to stay as informed as possible and connected to others, don’t overwhelm yourself with constant updates and Google searches for cases in your county.
It can also be difficult to stay in high spirits when your normal routine is disrupted as suddenly and dramatically as most have been. Staying cooped up, not interacting with friends or coworkers, and general dread and uncertainty can all contribute to a poorer mental state than usual.
If it all becomes too much, feel free to take a walk around a park or a block in your neighborhood. Driving to a scenic outlook or short hike for a change of scenery can be helpful as well. You could bring a book or schoolwork, listen to a podcast, or just enjoy the sun and the fact that you aren’t stuck inside. Just remember to stay as far away from other people as possible while you’re out, and maybe shower when you get home just in case.
Also, there can be a lot of pressure to use this new-found “free time” to pick up a new hobby, read the books you bought but never read or finally start that side hustle you always dreamed of. While these are all excellent activities to occupy your time and help take your mind off the current environment, please don’t pressure yourself into being super productive right now. Especially if you have assignments due, new work-from-home responsibilities and children to watch, there is already so much on your plate. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t check off every item on the bucket list. Be kind to yourself. Everything is weird and different right now. If you need to plop down for another re-watch of your favorite comforting show or take a midday nap, by all means allow yourself that time.
This is all majorly unprecedented territory for everyone. Be kind to others, stay home when at all possible, and I hope to see everyone on campus again soon.