Love in the time of Corona Pt 1.
Wyd? I message her after I log out of my virtual workplace.
Not much, you? She replies in seconds because there are no other distractions now that everyone is pretty much online 24/7.
We go back and forth for a bit, discussing our pretty uneventful days.
I go to the bathroom, carefully counting the toilet paper squares, now that this once abundant resource has been rationed. After washing my hands for 60 seconds while reciting the “I will not be lectured by this man” speech, I look at my phone again.
I miss you and I’d do anything to see you, the message reads. Fuck.
I miss you too.. Should I..?
I’ll leave after sunrise.
It is 8.45 PM. I sanitize my hands, put on gloves, a facemask and a rainproof jacket. In my tote bag, a thermometer, liquid soap, panadol, a penguin book- you never know when you need reading material for quarantine. The streets are dead, people don’t drive much these days and rideshare service prices are surging like crazy. Aside from the occasional delivery cyclist, no one is out. People now hail delivery drivers as the unsung heroes of the pandemic, generously tipping them. The airpods I traded for a 2kg bag of rice and 2 packets of pasta fit snugly into my ears. Frank Ocean provides the soundtrack to my bike ride.
I almost ring the doorbell but remember germs- what if her housemates are sick? I text.
Out the front.
We stand 6 feet apart, looking at each other longingly.
I open my tote, take out my thermometer. She does the same, in her doorway.
Shortness of breath?
Only from looking at you.
Stop that. Come in.
I wash my hands for 60 seconds, rinse my mouth with Listerine, take my temperature once more. Finally we embrace.
A hug has never felt so good.
Love in the time of Corona
Love in the time of Corona Pt 2
We’re in the line at the supermarket, face masks and gloves and beanies disguising most of our faces. Some have gone as far as wearing protective goggles.
Do you think that guy is hot? My housemate asks while vaguely pointing to one of the supermarket staff with his chin.
No clue, really can’t see much of him.
I think I can tell he’s a hottie. Those plastic gloves look large af too.
How can you think about dick in times like these?
It’s all I can think about.
The line slowly moves. Each individual has an allocated ration of essentials they can pick up. Jobs at the supermarket are highly sought after. Every bar, restaurant, club and activity that once made Melbourne the most liveable city in the world is now closed.
Hey, isn’t that that influencer? I try to whisper into my housemates ear while keeping the prescribed 1.5 meter distance.
Oh yeah, that’s that girl who sold bikinis and fake tanning lotion while living in Bali most of the year.
Guess no one’s buying tanning oil these days.
I wonder how she got a job here, I hear it’s super competitive.
After 15 minutes we get to the start of the line. Finally.
The hot guy hands my housemate his food parcel. Inside: 2 tins of tomatoes, 500 grams of pasta, 500 grams of mince, 6 rolls of toilet paper and loaf of bread. Also a small note. My parcel only has the food items, no note.
On our walk home we marvel at how clear and blue the usually smoggy city sky has become.
It’s like the planet is finally taking a deep breath, clearing herself of us, he says.
And a lot of people are taking their last breath, let’s not forget that I say.
But I agree.
What’s the note that guy gave you?
It says “If you ever need company or toilet paper, or meat... text or FaceTime me” and then his number and social media.
What’s his insta? My housemate tells me.
I clean my phone with an alcoholic wipe before unlocking it and find his profile. Wow, he actually is hot. And his hands are huge.
Told you so!