How COVID and the Lockdown is Wreaking Havoc on Relationships – Sometime in March 2020, while the majority of people were still coming to terms with news of the novel virus and the rapid spread from China to so many other countries, and its possible devastating effect on the health of individuals, the economy of countries, and on business. Soon countries in Europe closed their borders to mitigate against the further spread, followed closely by other countries. The outbreak of the COVID and the eventual lockdown that followed by most countries came as a tremendous surprise to many, especially individuals in distant relationships or worse off, binational relationships.
Soon appointments of seeing each other had to be canceled owing to the ban on travels and the restrictions on movement, countries, and cities went into compulsory lockdown, coupled with the policy on social distancing, wearing of face mask, and incessant use of sanitizer in public and the anxiety of not knowing when you would see your loved one again. Stress and anxiety gradually set in, as people slowly came to terms with the situation at hand.
COVID Equals Stress
Apart from essential workers who were, on one hand, stressed out of their mind, others had to endure, first, one week, then one month, then two, three, and up to six months of being indoors. Forced to repeat the same routine every day and not being able to spend time with their partners. While some gnashed their teeth in anguish, worrying about when they would see their partners again, if they would cheat on them or get bored with waiting and lose interest, some others were forced to stay locked in with their partners and as such, they were exposed to the ugly side of the life of their partners.
Coupled with the stress of not being able to enjoy time out, exercise, go out to exotic places and other places of entertainment that may help rekindle the love people in a relationship feel for each other. The lockdown can be likened to humans being in a cage (In their homes) without the freedom to express themselves, spend time with their loved ones and have as much body contact as they would like. Being able to touch your loved one or feel them, is a key factor to our existence as humans, being able to share a kiss, and hug each other when we feel the need to be comforted by a partner or even shake hands as a sign of greeting, agreement or respect.
Can Social Media Help?
As much as social media platforms like; Instagram, WhatsApp, Facetime, Facebook e.t.c were available to couples who were apart, for chats, online calls, and even video calls. It is and can never be enough to close the gap between people in a relationship, nothing can be as comforting as the touch of your partner after a stressful day at work, bad news about a relative’s demise due to COVID etc. The lockdown created so much havoc on relationships that many people had to join various groups in other to lend their voice and also a force to the government to review the ban on travel and lockdown, notable among them are; Love is not Tourism on Facebook with over 45,000 members as of the time of writing this article and Change.org #Loveisessential, with 17,000 people all over the world signing a petition to lift travel ban and unite couples.
Covid and the lockdown only re-emphasized the importance of “human touch” to every relationship and to human co-existence.
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