Since my parents honeymooned in Mexico nine months prior to me being born, I’ve had no shortage of relatives and family friends joking that I was conceived under the influence of Corona.
It’s still not funny.
But not as humorless as I find myself these days confined to little more than my sleeping quarters without loved ones, pets, or even roommates. Before the pandemic, I had expected equal parts anarchy and zombies in my apocalypse—instead I got a home office and no toilet paper. Where’s the excitement in that? Don’t answer.
Kidding aside, while working from home, I try my best to stay active and get outside whenever possible. The best option is to walk the steep hill up to Friendship Park—alone. The irony isn't lost on me. And worse, when I do make the trip, I’m met with, almost exclusively, couples.
Couples in their matching walking caps and fleece sweaters. Couples, walking hand in hand, leaning against one another as they walk, sharing quiet words, keeping close to each other (and far away from me as possible). Couples enjoying the smug notion that, even though the world is turning upside down: “We have each other.”
Death is romantic. It’s an aphrodisiac, albeit a morbid one, because it’s tragedy and shared adversity that really bring humans closer together. Who knows? These lovebirds might be at each other’s throats under “normal” circumstances. At the very least, subconsciously apathetic of one another beneath the conscious choice of sticking together. Her: more interested in her yoga class, him: in his homebrew recipe (or vice versa, I’m not trying to be prescriptive here).
But instead, these people are walking together. Close together, occasionally stopping just to look into each other’s eyes and think: “I won’t die alone.”
Several news outlets are mentioning, and keeping tabs on, the expected baby boom to follow the pandemic, citing examples such as previous disasters that led to an unexpected bump in the population chart. They often mention contributing factors such as people being held to close quarters without much to do (but each other, hey-o).
I beg to differ. A pandemic is not a blackout or a hurricane. During the latter, there may indeed be a lack of common distractions due to electronic failure—but we’re still going strong on that front: wifi’s still up, streaming services are still flowing, and the flood of social media is richer than ever with the absence of IRL engagements. The drama of it all is actually refreshing these outlets for everyone. From bored, homebound teenagers to artists and professional influencers hoping to catch the attention of literally captive audiences.
As for close quarters containment, this applies a bit more. The curious thing for those romantically involved is the choice they make concerning this question:
“Do I distance myself from loved ones to protect them?”
I recently saw a post from a friend of mine (I know, surprising, I actually do have friends) detailing how his partner brought him food yesterday while still maintaining distance, concerned one might be a health risk to the other. Not gonna lie: that was the sweetest thing I’d heard all day. But it certainly puts a damper on potential for sexytimes and the possibility of projected pregnancies.
The alternative, re: the couples I see on my walks, is to throw in together and say: “If one of us gets it, we both get it.” For them: why the heck wouldn’t you get all lovey-dovey and do each other every chance you get? With the implicated health concerns, however, it seems foolish to avoid using birth control unless you’re totally sold on being dead before then. So what are the real chances we’re looking at a baby boom here?
I suspect a minor baby bump to come, at best. But, it’s all speculative anyway.
I’ll tell you what’s not, though—whether single, separated, or locked in a sexy death pact with your S/O—what’s really going to keep you warm at night is a quality bed set, from, you guessed it: primary goods.
You can even roll your comforter up and snuggle it, like I do.
Oh, heck, just buy one:
Listen, I’m not about to spend the end times on a sub-par sheet set, and nor should anyone else, no matter how smug and “in love.”