Dear Diary, Love Letters From 2m Away
Appreciating relationships through a video screen and how the pandemic has changed social interaction.
“...So many people have asked me how to maintain connection in this new normal. It starts with you and opening yourself up to the possibility of connection.”
Esther Perel, New York Times bestselling author
Love is in the air, but the virus is too. Valentine’s Day is a time of sharing and being with the ones you love, but not being able to be with them courtesy of the global pandemic can make this time of year a challenging one. Winter isn’t going anywhere, and instead of being able to cozy up by the fireplace and watch rom-coms with a cup of hot chocolate, many of us spent our Valentine’s Day sending virtual hugs and kisses. COVID-19 has changed the very definition of connection and intimacy. Will the new normal be signs from afar and waving from 2m away?
The pandemic youth are certainly feeling the brunt of this emotional alienation as many vital opportunities for relationship building are being digitized. Last month, Cara, Max, Marie and Advik were feeling under the weather, but their letters held clues to surprises that would brighten their days to come. Read on to see how the love of family and friends was able to put a smile on our beloved characters’ faces, even during these isolating times.
The following diary entries are works of fiction. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Today is Valintines day! February 14. Mom got a whole box of chocolate today! They were hearts in pink foil and they were so, so YUMMY! Last year on Valintines day I wrote cards and put lollipops in them and gave them to all my friends. This year Mom sayed I can’t give my friends cards but we made one from Gramma Gramma. We went to visit Gramma Gramma and I got to see her! Me and Mom walked in the snow to her window and I taped my card to the window. She smiled SO BIG! We couldn’t hear her but we smiled and had fun. Mom is happy too. Valintines day was fun! I’m going to go eat a chocolate now. Bye Diary!!!
- Cara Weir, Grade 3
I got a dog! She’s a Affenpinsher (I think that’s how you spell it) and she’s fluffy and golden and amazing! I named her Goldie. I know it's not a creative name but I don’t really care. Baba got her from the adoption center downtown and surprised me on Valentine’s Day. Before that the day had sucked. At my old school we would all write cards and exchange sweets so I had made 27 handmade cards with Hershey’s kisses in them for every single one of my classmates. I even cleaned them with Lysol wipes and put them in plastic bags two weeks in advanced so that they were properly quarantined. But when I got to school the teacher never said to get out our cards. I walked home with a bag full of chocolate and a rain cloud over my head, literally. It was pouring all the way home. I don’t know if it’s a middle school thing or a Victoria thing but Valentine’s day was too mushy gushy and not candy oriented enough for me. But then I got Goldie and everything was a million times better! We are going to go for a walk everyday and now I can advertise my dog walking company by saying I have a dog myself. Goldie can be my mascot! Josh and I were going to meet in the park so I could show him Goldie. Hopefully she doesn't poop on the floor before we leave.
- Max Zhou, Grade 7
Happy Singles Appreciation Day! I know, I know. It’s actually Valentine’s Day but my friends and I decided to write each other Galentine’s letters (even the non-gals can participate). I’m writing to Sam. He likes Toblorone chocolates so I’m giving him a mega bar. Last year we had a Valentine masquerade party in history class. This year we were literally wearing masks so the irony was not lost on anyone.
I got my Galentine’s letter! But it’s so mysterious and romantic! “Marie you are all that I see, I hope I never forget thee.” What kind of prank is this? And it’s not signed. It just says “Yours Truly, Secret Admirer”. I was actually rolling on the floor while reading it. This must be one of my friend’s versions of a joke. Unless… someone actually likes me? No way, all my friends are too friend-y. Well, whoever they are, I hope they either reveal themselves or keep sending me gifts. I got a bouquet of roses and a Lindor chocolate pyramid! Sweet! (haha pun)
Mama got me a new clock to replace my broken one. I actually really like it. It is gold and teal with pink writing that says “Why start tomorrow?” It’s corny I know, but I like it alot!
Ok well I better get going, that essay isn’t going to write itself. Happy heart day!
- Marie Musa, Grade 12
Vithun bhai came home for family day! I was going for a ‘romantic’ Valentine’s day walk with Maya (this is the closest thing I can get to a date in this pandemic) when he called and I literally yelled. We cut our date short (Maya understood… I hope) and we spent the rest of the long weekend playing cards, watching bad Hindi serials and having a good time. We are going to go buy ice cream soon. In winter! I don’t know how he convinced Amma but he did it! Got to go!
- Advik Shah, second-year undergrad
CNN. (2021, February 14). How to rekindle the flame that the pandemic extinguished. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/14/health/valentines-day-rekindle-love-wellness/index.html
Article Author: Ria Patel
Article Editors: Edie Whittington, Stephanie Sahadeo