Written by: Francesca N.
Visual by: Somya D.
Edited by: Sarah P.
Love locks are latched around bridge posts, a stronghold of love through all weather. However, COVID-19 has brought “love lock” to another level, with a global lockdown pushing some couples apart while bringing others closer together.
New York Times’ Modern Love podcast, which can be found on their website or on Spotify, is a cozy coronacation listen that features personal essays that explore love in today’s world. In the episode ‘In an Altered World, Listeners Share Their Stories About Love and Life’, Modern Love listeners shared their stories on how they are dealing with the impact of the coronavirus. One listener, Claire, quickly fell in love with a friend when they decided to quarantine together. Another found fun in playing a wine game on a first date with a woman he met on a dating app. Young couple Debbie and Patrick got married on the 13th of March in jeans and hoodies, right before the venue was about to close down.
While many stories were uplifting, some highlighted the personal obstacles listeners struggled with amidst the pandemic. Jenna is quarantined with a man she is trying to separate herself from, an experience she described halfheartedly. Since before quarantine, Ellia had already felt lonely from not having a partner. Now with no way to find someone, she feels completely distanced from any chance at love. Elderly Katie’s husband has been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease for years. Now, – hopeful, patient, and devoted as ever – Katie stands outside his memory facility home twice a day to try to meet her lover’s eyes.
As high schoolers, some of us may experience young love; and some of us may not. Whatever the case, the love we know is worlds apart from the stories told on the Modern Love podcast, just as each story on the podcast is worlds apart from each other. In the wreckage and rebuilding, these stories resonate with life and feeling. When we are confined to the four walls of our room, podcasts like these open our ears up to stories from different points of our world, and the messy and many ways that love has unfolded under a pandemic-stricken lock.