Love in the Age of Pandemonium

For the past few months, the world has descended into chaos thanks to a world-wide pandemic known as Covid-19, or the Coronavirus. You probably already knew that unless you happen to have been a member of the German Big Brother cast, as they did not find out until recently. Countries all around the world have shut down their cities, borders, and any non-essential businesses, and the ramifications of this are innumerable. Most families are stuck at home, clawing at doors and windows begging to be released.

This, of course, is preferable to the thousands of people dying and the millions of essential workers fighting to keep our countries running, but the boredom, not to mention the complete lack of personal space for many, is suffocating.  Many experts hypothesize that there will be a spike in divorces as a result. In order to curb the latter, let’s look at some ways to keep your relationship healthy while stuck in quarantine.

My friend, Corey, equipped with a face mask to protect himself and others.

Meal Planning

Coming up with meals three times a day is exhausting and a huge cause of tension. The easiest solution is to sit down together once a week and plan your meals for the week. Discuss who will cook what and when, then write a list and tape it to the fridge. Now, each person knows what meals they are responsible for, so there is less stress over who has to cook dinner. I usually cook for my partner, so he usually cleans the kitchen. This is a good way to keep cooking and cleaning fair.

Another solution is to subscribe to a meal delivery service, like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. As someone who has used Hello Fresh for a long time, I can give my hearty recommendation for it. Not only will you not have to worry about coming up with recipes every week, you also will not have to do as much grocery shopping. The meal delivery kits send you everything you need, except for minor staples like butter, so you don’t have to worry about braving the chaotic cesspool that is Walmart right now. Plus, it’s fun! It teaches you how to cook while creating different and delicious recipes.

If you hate cooking and are at your wit’s end trying to feed yourself and your family, many restaurants are still serving to go’s and you can use delivery services like Uber Eats and Grubhub. Both services have discounts. There are also plenty of easy recipes online that only use a few ingredients and take almost no time at all to throw together. Perfect for busy essential workers who just want to eat and sleep.

Cleaning Schedule

The next stressor is chores. You would think that having this much time around the house would mean that it would be easier to keep everything clean, but between the emotional stress of an all-consuming worldwide panic and the upheaval of our everyday lives, there’s no room left for worrying about who’s turn it is to do the laundry.

Chart provided by the Template Lab.

For anyone who has ever had a roommate, you know how difficult it is to keep to a cleaning schedule. Try to make it fun. Reward yourself for each chore that you get done, whether it be stickers for the kids, a special dessert for yourself, or a new item you have been looking forward to getting. The most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself and your partner. If you can’t clean the bathroom, it’s not the end of the world. Try to do your part but be honest with your partner about how you’re feeling and take it easy.

Give Each Other Space

Make a point to give each other space. Set a time where you give the other person time alone. If you have kids, switch off who is watching them and let the other person have some time to themselves. Being in each other’s laps all the time is sure to cause stress, so be patient and understanding of your partner’s needs.

Set Up A Date

Maybe you can’t go out to dinner or catch a movie, but there are still plenty of ways to plan special time for you and your partner. Make a pillow fort and watch a movie. Drink some wine and play a board game. Play some music and dance. If you have a back yard or some grassy area around your building, plan a picnic. Make time to appreciate each other outside of normal household duties.

Above all, be honest, open, and kind with one another. Patience and communication can help stop disagreements before they turn into full-force fights.

Love from my boyfriend and I

Be safe, everyone. While the world is keeping its distance, keep your loved ones close.

Hello Fresh and Blue Apron images provided by their respective websites. Top image provided by Corey Fogg. Bottom image provided by Hannah Martin.

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