Love in the Time of COVID-19

“In the dark times 

Will there also be singing? 

Yes, there will also be singing. 

About the dark times.” 

― Bertolt Brecht 

On March 9, Italy went into a national quarantine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But amongst this crisis, moments full of hope emerged. Videos of Italians singing together on their balconies soon went viral. Their voices resonate as one, creating even as the world around them falls apart. This is a scene that has been recreated countless times. In a time of fear and uncertainty, communities come together and connect with each other. 

Even though stories of hoarding and panic shopping would try to persuade us otherwise, times of crisis are when people offer up the most compassion. It’s one of the few times that people are put before profit. People have lent a hand to those in need, providing free supplies and food and raising money for others. 

To be human is to make connections, to help others. In times of crisis or pandemic, we are reminded of our reliance on others. In the midst of chaos and worry, people’s true values are revealed. A few days into being confined at home and people already miss the outside world. They already miss their daily interactions with others. This period of time is permeated by a sense of restlessness but more importantly, a sense of togetherness. Together, we are all living through the same thing. This shared experience creates an understanding between us all.  

Were community not so important to us, social distancing wouldn’t be such a struggle. Although social media and FaceTime allow us to stay in touch with our friends, it’s still not a perfect replacement for seeing someone in person. As we move forward with this quarantine, our longing to be around other people will only become more blatant. But this isn’t a bad thing. It only means that humans are a social species, and people are meant to be around people. 

Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of quarantine, it’s important to remember what times like these reveal about humanity. In times of crisis, we come together and cooperate with one another. Even if we can’t see our friends, we find ways to keep in touch. We help those who need help. We think of others even as we are physically separated from them. We are all connected by a thread of hope.