Love in the Time of Corona
Fortunately, I am not the first person to think of this trite title. If this literary wink and nod is lost on you, it is in reference to Márquez' great book Love in the Time of Cholera. If you are looking for something to read while stuck at home, Cholera (ahem) would do you well. I loathe plot synopsis, so go read the damn book; it's clever to the point of painful coincidence how fitting this wordplay is beyond mere acoustics. I would also recommend News of a Kidnapping by him.1
Pop on over to your favorite search engine2 and enter the query "love in the time of corona." Be prepared to be greeted with thinkpieces all using COVID-19 as an opportunity to wax poetic about romance during times of crisis and how the 21st-century technology that you are addicted to can help with that conundrum. A little sampling of the hors d'oeuvres on offer:
- This laughable piece from the mindrot that is The Telegraph interviewing some woman who just wants a little fun.
- A blog post on Psychology Today3 by some guy who calls himself a biophilosopher that I didn't even bother reading.
- Canada's refuge of journalistic integrity, the National Post, wastes precious keystrokes on the "virtual" wedding of the granola equivalent of a whitebread couple. Isn't this what Second Life was made for?
- A viral photo whose accompanying explanation was debunked. The heartwarming nature of this false story reminds me of this image, which is actually real.4
- Some helpful pointers — published on a subsidiary of perhaps the most famous outlet of state propaganda on God's green earth — for the enterprising couple who can't bear to be apart.
Now we have n+1 word pits given that I have added my lack of wit and charm to the mix. Nevertheless, Dear Reader, I do promise there is method to this
madness whatever. I want to highlight an article by Anna Shea of Amnesty International,5 as its message of solidarity and compassion is a welcome one. The piece itself is admittedly a bit superficial, opting to conclude with some feel-good vibes instead of underscoring the appalling response of Western countries — particularly the United States and Great Britain — to this crisis. Alas, you can't really expect an NGO, no matter how supposedly benevolent, to say the full truth.
But that doesn't matter. What matters is, as Anna writes, solidarity. The best time to get to know your neighbors was a month ago; the second best time is now.