Valentining in Quarantine

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Illustration by Chelsea Stahl / NBC News; Getty Images

Valentine’s Day is meant for spreading love, not COVID-19.

Skyler Zur, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Every year, happy couples look forward to celebrating Valentine’s day with flowers, chocolates, gifts, and a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant, but this year, Valentine’s Day will look a little different. Because of COVID-19, restaurants can’t seat as many people and the otherwise romantic day could be overshadowed by concerns of the pandemic.

This year, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation, only 24 percent of people said they will celebrate Valentine’s Day with an evening out, which is down 34 percent last year and the lowest in the survey’s history; however, that does not mean Valentine’s Day is canceled. One of the most popular activities during the pandemic has been cooking since restaurants were closed at one point, so planning a special night in can be a simple solution.

Restaurants have also come up with creative ways to make take out food taste as good as it would be in a restaurant, so those who don’t want to cook on Valentine’s Day have a different option of recreating a restaurant-style meal in their own homes.

Dating has also changed drastically this year because with people quarantining, there are fewer opportunities to meet and date people. Movie theaters are closed and with restaurant restrictions, an otherwise romantic night out could end up being stressful. However, there are other ways to date. Online dating has become increasingly popular throughout the pandemic, and having a Facetime or Zoom date is the new norm. Although it may not be the same vibe as going out to a nice restaurant, having a Zoom date on Valentine’s Day could be one way to take off some of the pressure of a Valentine’s date. There is no debate over who pays the bill, no awkward eye contact or lack thereof, and it is generally just less pressure.

Another fun option for Valentine’s Day is to celebrate with friends. Senior Julie Moquin is having a Galentine’s Day celebration this year. 

“We are planning on going out to brunch, and we are giving each other small gifts. I think this holiday is a great way to show your friends they appreciate them.”

While in the past, Valentine’s day has been focused on romance, it holds a different meaning this year. Valentine’s Day has always been about celebrating love, and in a year where many families were unable to spend time together due to COVID-19 risk factors, it can be an opportunity for families and friends, either in person or virtually to catch up and celebrate each other.