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The past year definitely took a huge emotional and physical toll on all of us; during this valentine’s day we were all bound to feel the intensity of the consequences that were brought onto society by the pandemic. One of the biggest challenges that accompanied the virus was the fact that we were all obligated to social distance ourselves from friends, family, and significant others, which was exhausting and emotionally draining. However, I would like to shed a light on another rather bleak aspect, or should I say ‘side effect’ of the quarantine and confinement period we all faced. 

Recent dating statistics show that during 2020, the number of couples living together after the pandemic fell grossly 74%, and this rate includes couples that lived together for more than a year before the quarantine restrictions. Social scientists believe that this huge decrease of couples living together since/after the pandemic is mainly due to the health restrictions that came with Covid-19, placing additional stress on any given relationship. 

This means that people were already charged with the psychological impacts of the virus and quarantine implications, which was translated into many individuals becoming unable to peacefully coexist while navigating the ‘side effects’ of social distancing. 

These side effects include the fear for their health, and a sense of imprisonment while in a romantic relationship. These are the grim side effects that most of us avoided, but all knew existed, and found it convenient to ignore, since who wants to think about the ‘dark side’ of love, especially during valentine’s day.

I believe it is fair to acknowledge that these restrictions and health impositions were of vital importance for the impediment of covid-19’s spread. However, after reading research and articles , I realized that for couples, the consequences of quarantine might have saved their physical health, but not their emotional well-being. By this, I mean many individuals were left heartbroken and hopeless about their romantic futures, due to devastating breakups. 

Finally, I hope to provide some small reassurance for those of us who are feeling pessimistic during this valentine’s day by saying that it will all get better, even if our love interests or romantic relationships might not be fully or properly celebrated this year. We can also spread our love through our platonic and familial relations, because these relationships can be the purest and some would argue, the most genuine kind of love.

I'm from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I am a senior at Michigan State University, Political Science-Prelaw major; and I intend to go to law school after graduating from MSU.
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