WHS couples coping with COVID-19

A+High+School+couple+communicating+during+quarantine+

Photo Thomas Chen

A High School couple communicating during quarantine

James Birle and Aidan Morrison

“We’re all in this together.” You’ve probably heard this uplifting sentiment many times since the coronavirus outbreak. In order to get through this pandemic, we all must stick together by staying apart. Social isolation is difficult for everyone, but it’s especially weighing on those with a significant other. It’s a tough time to be in a relationship, but WHS couples are finding different ways to stay connected. 

Even though the virus has affected students in different ways, the way couples handle quarantine has been pretty similar. Couples don’t have the ability to see each other as much, but junior Grace Lanza said she and her boyfriend “take social distance walks through town once a week.” 

Junior Joey Brogan said that he and his girlfriend also see each other in person weekly, but they “make sure to comply with social distancing rules.”

A lot of the time spent in person heavily involves the couples’ parents, with several couples reporting that their parents determine when and where they can see their boyfriend/girlfriend. WHS Health Teacher Susan Kolesar said, “parents have to be highly involved in regulating the social interactions of their children, especially when it comes to dating partners since physical closeness and intimacy are likely to be involved.”

Westfield mother of two Judy Bowen describes the struggles of parenting through quarantine saying, ¨The biggest challenge for me is making sure my sons are staying safe and isolated during this quarantine. It’s especially difficult because they´re both teenage boys and they are itching to go out and socialize, but I’ve had to put my foot down to ensure their safety and the safety of others.¨

Another way to persevere through the pandemic while in a relationship is by using social media and virtual platforms to communicate. Couples are reportedly spending more time than ever on FaceTime, Snapchat and iMessage in order to keep in touch. Brogan said that in order to maintain a relationship in these times, “platforms like FaceTime are necessary” and couples need to be “willing to use alternative forms of communication right now.”

On the contrary, some relationships are thriving without much use of technology. Junior Johnny Heard and his partner have remained close and in contact throughout quarantine. Heard said, “So far [quarantine has] been pretty good. Our parents haven’t been super strict so we’ve been seeing each other every day, which has been nice and good for our relationship.”

With the pandemic essentially shutting down the entire world as we know it, WHS couples are experimenting with new methods of staying in touch that may cause them to come out of this strange experience stronger than ever. According to Kolesar, “it’s times like these that force couples to develop a deeper emotional connection.”