Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Editorial: Valentine's Day, but socially distanced

February 12, 2021
Illustration by Maddie Monroe.
Illustration by Maddie Monroe.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the typical ways of celebrating have to take a back seat.

With Ingham County and statewide cases on the rise and hospitals on the verge of getting overwhelmed again, it’s imperative that everyone follows the pandemic guidelines during the holiday.

However, Valentine’s Day is an important holiday for many people, so here are some ways to safely celebrate with your intimate partner.

Date night

Many East Lansing businesses, including Campus Street Sportswear, Espresso Royale and Blaze Pizza, have had to shut their doors permanently due to the financial strain of the pandemic. Other restaurants and bars are struggling to fill tables, increasing the financial impact.

Due to local pandemic restrictions, restaurants and bars are only allowed to open at 25% capacity and are required to close by 10 p.m. to discourage late-night gatherings as of Feb. 1.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of contracting COVID-19 from take-out and drive-thru is very low. If you and your partner want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a fancy meal, East Lansing restaurants that offer takeout or delivery include:

Though the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 is higher in indoor and enclosed spaces, many restaurants are still open for dining in. If you choose to eat at a restaurant, make sure to wear your masks anytime you aren’t eating, to maintain social distancing inside the restaurant and to stay home if you feel sick.

Hooking up

According to the CDC, COVID-19 mainly spreads from close contact (within 6 feet) of someone, which means that in-person dates and hookups are risky for virus transmission.

If you choose to hookup with someone outside your COVID bubble this Valentine’s Day, make sure you are aware of their social distancing practices prior to the date. This includes whether they’ve gathered in a large group in the past 14 days, if they wear their masks when they go out and if they have been around anyone who tested positive for COVID-19.

The risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remains along with the prevalence of COVID-19. It’s important to get tested and quarantine when needed.

MSU students are able to get free STI and COVID-19 testing through Olin Health Center but must schedule an appointment before coming in. Students are also able to get tested for COVID-19 for free at Spartan Stadium with no prior appointment.

The best way to limit community spread of the virus is to stay home. 

If everyone does their part, we’ll be able to celebrate many Valentine’s Days with our loved ones in the future.

Happy Valentine’s Day and stay safe.

The State News Editorial Board is composed of Editor-in-Chief Evan Jones, Managing Editor SaMya Overall, Campus Desk Editor Karly Graham, City Desk Editor Sophia Kalakailo, Culture Desk Editor Kaishi Chhabra, Sports Desk Editor Joe Dandron, Copy Chief Mark Ostermeyer, Audience Engagement Editor Julian Stainback, Multimedia Manager Tessa Osborne, Photo Editor Alyte Katilius, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Inna Mirzoyan and Staff Rep. Wendy Guzman.

This editorial is part of the Restricted Romance print issue. Read the entire issue

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