Of all the other smaller and finer aspects of life that the coronavirus pandemic has affected, are relationships. Specially for young millennials. Most millennials today enter serious committal relationships quite late in life. Most relationships are also plagued with the problem of long-distance communications or busy schedules leaving little time for togetherness. Most relationships are therefore carried on through phone calls or text messages or video calls. With the pandemic raging wide, relationship problems have doubled.
Long periods of isolation or separation has affected marital relationships too bad, leave alone non-marital or noncommittal romances. Prolonged lockdowns created severe communication gaps and periods of loneliness for adults in the early work lives managing a home of their own which had turned into a workspace. The pandemic saw couples separated in separate cities, countries, often continents, living away from family or loved ones, with virtual communication the only refuge for keeping human connections. It saw couples locked in together, away from the daily acquaintances and phenomena of regular day to day living, knowing their relationships in a new light, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. It saw the end of nascent and brewing romances that could have taken a solid shape, it saw the coming together of hugely different individuals who had never themselves imagined such closeness as they formed. All in all the pandemic made the modern world rethink one aspect of life seriously: love and relationships.
For couples locked in together, it was a test of compatibility and coordination. Several women complained of how unhelpful their husbands were throughout the whole time and how little they helped with housework. Several entitled men complained of how their wives ‘made’ them do work that they hadn’t ever imagined or prepared themselves for doing. Several men discovered a knack or liking for chores that are usually relegated to the realm of the feminine such as cooking or gardening or keeping the house. Several women discovered qualities of care and nurturing they had never seen before in their partners, that circumstances under the lockdown caused to surface.
For couples separated, several found themselves breaking allegiance to their relationships, several found themselves refusing distraction for stability. Several found themselves in bitter fights lasting whole hours about the lack of communication, while several found themselves on the phone for longer hours than they usually favoured. Dating sites recorded astonishing rise of business for sure with both superficial and deep connections discovered and explored. While loneliness became a sure thing, perhaps beating this biggest plague during the lockdown, new hobbies were discovered. The pandemic and lockdown opened several avenues for self-love, reclaiming long lost passions or exploring new ones. It challenged modern life to self-introspect more, examine their privileges further or for several to sink in deep pits of unhealthy cycles of over- thinking.
The pandemic surely made the youth, irrespective of class, creed, nationality, probe into the importance of human connections in a world fast getting mechanized. It showed the world how human bonds of love, care and selflessness are the most precious possession our species has been blessed with. And how, in spite of all development of the modern world, our bonds and connections are what we ought to cherish through thick and thin.