Saturday, June 6, 2020

Column: I caught feelings for someone during quarantine

April 15, 2020
An MSU student checks social media during the Coronavirus stay-in-place quarantine on March 30, 2020.
An MSU student checks social media during the Coronavirus stay-in-place quarantine on March 30, 2020. —
Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

After four weeks of being confined to the same couch while endlessly scrolling through TikTok, I have uncovered a few truths that quarantine has shed light on: 

  • Carole Baskin definitely killed her husband

  • There is no greater meal on earth than a home-cooked one

  • And, wow! I missed my dogs more than I thought

While I am still undecided about the looks of my "quaranstache," I did learn something else about myself, something I didn’t expect to learn during this period of detachment. 

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If you start to catch feelings for someone right now, be prepared. Be prepared for a lengthy (and I mean LENGTHY) couple of weeks of social distancing.

Be prepared for night-long phone calls that run into the next morning. Be prepared for wanting to break your goody-two-shoes vow of staying quarantined to go see him or her (but please don't). 

But, don’t worry. It’s OK to be unprepared. I was.

I wasn’t prepared for the initial text she sent me. However, with the encouragement of a mutual friend (thank you), we started talking … a lot. 

Small talk via texting quickly turned into late-night conversations over FaceTime. And as we had gotten to know each other better, I continued to find myself in a deeper plight. 

The only way I could engage with the person who I was quickly falling for was by seeing her through a screen. 

I wish I could add more to this story. I really do. And when that happens, I’ll let you know. 

Yet, the cold truth is that talking to someone you truly like without being able to see him or her is painfully difficult. 

So, what can you do? 

My former baseball coach used to say, “Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is perseverance.” 

Now, 10-year-old me at the time was too focused on fielding ground balls to ever understand what that meant. But as I grew older, I could hear his voice echoing that same message, so I locked his words inside my mental archive. 

Times like these are when I go back to them. 

It’s tough talking to people you care about without physically being with them. And, somedays, it feels impossible. You wish to just escape and be with them for even a minute, because time — undoubtedly — is time.  

We are strong, though. We are strong and resilient. 

The more we courageously abide by the rules now, no matter how burdensome they may seem, the quicker we can return to the people we dearly miss later. 

And although communicating via phone, tablet or computer is second-rate compared to conversing in-person, we should still be grateful we have the option to do so. 

So while we use technology’s helping-hand to remain connected with those socially distanced from ourselves, remember this isn’t permanent. 

Live in the present, but look to the future. 

For me, I am excited each day to talk to the person who inspired me to write this. Hearing her laugh and seeing her smile is the highlight of my day. 

But I’m also eager for the day when quarantine ends. Then, we can drive together with no destinations, besides the occasional Biggby Coffee pit stop, while singing carpool karaoke at the top of our lungs. 

The upcoming weeks will be telling as to how we all will be able to interact with each other in the near future. 

We must simply keep faith, hope and love — but remember perseverance.

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