Roses, Chocolates, and… Masks!?

UP couples talk about their Valentine’s day plans during COVID.

Jasmin Perez, Story Editor

Just like with most holidays during this period of time, COVID-19 has changed how we can do things. This is especially apparent within high school partnerships where teens now have limited activities they can do together, and safely.

Senior Kalila Nunez and senior Tim Ruiz cuddle up for a quick picture. Ruiz spoke on his ideal date with her, “My perfect date for Valentine’s day would be going to an aquarium. After that, walk along the beach and watch the sunset from the pier and then eat at a restaurant and drive back home and cuddle on the couch and watch movies.”
(Kalila Nunez)

Enter Tim Ruiz, a senior, who has been in a partnership with senior Kalila Nunez for a year and a half, “I like Valentine’s day because it’s a day I can spend with her and do the things we love together. I can also show her how much she means to me and make her feel special.”

However, the things they were once able to do are now a bit impossible to do safely. “Things have changed because most things for entertainment are closed. Options are limited and there isn’t much to do at the time. It’s given us different ideas as of what to do instead such as going on picnics, going to the park, or having movie nights.”

“We are going to try Cane’s for the first time and go to the park and have a picnic if it’s not too cold. Then we’re going to go home and watch movies and try to bake cookies,” Ruiz concluded.

For this couple, they are simply making the best out of the time and available resources they have with each other.

Dating junior Toby Matta for nearly two years, senior Naretzi Velasquez does not seem to have her Valentine’s as well planned out. “We haven’t made plans; as much as we both love each other, [we’ve] been busy with our own thing so we haven’t figured it out.”

Though, it would not take much for Velasquez to enjoy her time with her partner. “An amazing date would be like going to the beach and having a picnic. I’m not really for a fan of like fancy restaurants or things like that. I just want to have a good and fun day with my partner.”

“With Covid-19 it was harder with communication or hanging out because if I wanted to see him I couldn’t, he was working. It would be like that the other way around, too. I still love him no matter what ’cause I knew we were busy.”

Junior Yadira Salgado-Arriola finds Valentine’s special. For her, it’s not only a holiday but a birthday for her boyfriend, senior Anthony Lopez with whom she’s been with for almost two years.  “My plans are to hopefully be able to visit him and be together that day.”

“One of the things that have sadly changed is that him and I don’t see each other often. I’m currently in Seattle so a long distance relationship isn’t very fun. We try to talk to each other as often as possible but it isn’t the same as being able to see each other in person.”

Senior Anthony Lopez and Junior Yadira Salgado-Arriola pose for a picture during the holidays! Yadira loves Valentine’s, saying “I get to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday and get lots of sweets for him.” (Anthony Lopez)

With Anthony, it seems to be a shared sentiment. “My birthday is on Valentine’s day so I pretty much have to like the day but it’s not for ‘Valentine’s Day’ itself. I feel that Valentine’s day is an excuse of a holiday. We shouldn’t need a day to remind us to express our love to our significant other. I always express my love to my girlfriend no matter what day it is. I personally would rather spoil my girlfriend throughout the year, which is how it should be rather than using a holiday to do so. That’s just my opinion though.”

“One thing for certain is that I barely get to hang out with her now. At least we have technology to where I can still see her but nothing beats when I’m actually physically there with her.”

Though trials and tribulations, including but not limited to a whole pandemic affecting everyone’s lives, it’s easy to say these couples have put a lot of effort in keeping their relationship going.

As always, stay safe and wear a mask!