“This is a love story. And a story of caring for your community.
Social distancing and love when you’re 19.
The night before we officially decided to practice social distancing and not be around anyone who doesn’t live in our home, our 19-year-old and her best friend officially became a couple. After 2 years with so many barriers in their path, they finally are dating.
The next day, he texted her that he had heard from his workplace a co-worker tested positive for COVID-19. He sent me a message apologizing that he may have potentially exposed us all by coming over to bring our daughter her birthday present and to officially change the status of their relationship. He was heartbroken, worried, and angry at himself that he came over.
They had one kiss as a couple before entering weeks of not being able to see each other. Weeks that have no end in sight at the moment.
It’s been 3 weeks. We’re all healthy. He’s still healthy and is working intense hours at a grocery store so families like ours can still have food.
They haven’t seen each other in that time, other than a wave here and there through the window.
Romantic partners do long-distance relationships all the time but usually, they have the chance to prepare for it. They know what they are getting into and they set up to make it work as much as possible.
These two didn’t get that, like so many others right now. Just immediate separation and fear.
I keep hearing about how young people, how ‘millennials’ (they aren’t millennials, they’re GenZ but anyway) aren’t taking social distancing seriously. That they’re responsible for the spread of coronavirus that threatens so many. Maybe there’s some truth to that but I’m also seeing people bragging on social media about getting together with friends but keeping a 6-foot distance between them or meeting up for a glass of wine with another family that has been social distancing or just plain old ignoring it all completely because it’s some sort of overblown media hype.
Yet these two, with frontal lobe development still in process, are strictly respecting the social distancing and quarantine.
They’re writing each other letters, leaving sanitized little gifts for each other, text, and FaceTiming. They cook together over FaceTime and then each go some places private to have dinner together over FaceTime, some times with candles and other times just kicking back and relaxing with pizza. They live less than a mile from each other, but they aren’t sneaking off to meet up because they are taking this seriously and are doing their part to save lives.
Sometimes he gets off work late and they set up to play video games together from their respective homes. This week, he left a video game in our mailbox late one night and texted her a love note to go with it: ‘I wore a mask and gloves to sanitize this for you but leave it overnight so anything that could be on it dies before you touch it. Use gloves to get it and then be sure to throw them away without touching anything else, just to be safe. And wash your hands and don’t touch your face. I love you.’
Love in the time of Coronavirus.
If two 19-year-olds can do it, so can the rest of us.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jessica and Jeremy Martin-Weber of We’re All Human Here. Follow We’re All Human Here on Instagram here. The article originally appeared here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
Read more stories from Jessica and Jeremy here:
‘Our school doesn’t really do homework. I’m not worried.’: Mom says no-homework policy gives ‘children the time for the really important things’
‘She came to us asking why she felt so much anger. Jeremy gave her a hammer. The slightest thing sets her off, boiling just under the surface.’: Daughter ‘relieved to know she wasn’t alone’ after parents help her to ‘release anger safely’
‘She growled that nothing was wrong. She skulked off. ‘Would you like a hug?’ She paused, and moved closer.’: Mom’s heart aches for daughter whose friends ‘never have time for her’
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