In spite of COVID-19 restrictions, couples still celebrate Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air: Jey Carpio poses in her home in Edmonton on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Originally from the Philippines, Carpio moved to Edmonton in 2019 to attend the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and get her diploma in hospitality management. (Chantel Goldney/The Press)

While a pandemic lockdown is still in effect, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and couples are still trying to make the day special.

Whether a couple met years ago or met during the pandemic, finding something to do on that special holiday and keeping that fire lit could be rather challenging.

If it’s a couple who likes to go out, or one that likes to stay in, there are plenty of social distanced and safe ways to still celebrate Valentine’s Day without the loss of restrictions and lockdown.

“For Valentine’s Day we just like to spend time at home together, and now we have two puppies to share that time with as well,” said Kaitlyn Aubichon, who has been with her partner for three years.

“This year I said we should make the heart shaped pizza together, as opposed to just him making it.”

Trying to recreate those butterflies in an otherwise trying time, such as a global pandemic, can remind folks to stay positive and realize there is still a light at the end of the tunnel.

Jey Carpio, a student who met her partner during the pandemic and in the beginnings of her relationship, says her plans will be thwarted if restrictions continue. But she still remains optimistic that she will find a way to celebrate.

“It’s like Christmas for me, I go all out for my partner,” said Carpio.

“If the restriction doesn’t end, then we are going to meet at a park, go for a walk, and go our separate ways home.”

And while lockdowns continue, showing someone they care doesn’t have to be expressed through the biggest gift or the fanciest restaurant. The lockdown is the perfect time to cozy up, and stay indoors.

“We are planning on staying in with a movie and some cuddles, we are very low key and don’t like to participate in spending all the extra money when the day is really about each other,” said Melissa Neal, who has been with her partner for more than a year.

“But if lockdown is not extended, then we are hopeful to continue our burgers and movie in tradition.”

Staying in during Valentine’s Day has never been complicated, and staying safe and distancing from the risks of COVID-19 doesn’t have to change that; there are plenty of safe and fun ways to still celebrate.

“If you’re with your partner and you are able to spend time with your partner, even virtually, that should be enough to celebrate each other,” said Carpio.

“Spend the day telling your partner how much you love and appreciate them, or have dinner together, even if it’s just mac and cheese. Every day when you’re with your partner should be celebrating each other’s love for each other.”

It’s like Christmas for me, I go all out for my partner. – Jey Carpio.

But more importantly, never forget that Valentine’s Day is just another day. Whether you are single, married, in the beginning stages of a relationship, or been together for years. It shouldn’t change how you celebrate those in your life.