1 Apr 2020

Covid-19: Love in a lockdown

6:34 pm on 1 April 2020

Young love is being put to the test under the strict nationwide lockdown, with some couples scrambling to move in together, while others choose to stay apart.

Tara Mackle and her boyfriend Hayden

Tara Mackle and Hayden. Photo: Supplied

The lockdown rules are clear - if you're not an essential worker, going to the supermarket or taking solitary exercise, you must stay at home.

Mooching and casual canoodling with people outside of your bubble is banned, in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19. So how are fledgeling couples coping?

With the lockdown looming, a university student, who RNZ is calling Sophia, agreed to move in with a man she's been casually sleeping with for two weeks.

"I was faced with the prospect of spending the four weeks by myself...or going to Cromwell. I guess I just picked up the phone and was like: 'Hi, let's go!'."

Just two days into the isolation period, Sophia explained how they have been spending their time.

"You know, we've been day drinking ... I don't know, there's not much to do apart from day drink and pash."

Her close friends know she's in lockdown with her lover and Sophia said she has got a contingency plan in place.

"If they get sick of me, which is probably likely to happen, and the highways don't close, my flat is currently empty, so I could probably go back and finish the quarantine by myself in an empty flat."

But for some couples who aren't together, the lengthy lockdown is going to be a challenge.

'I can ring you but I can't see you'

Tara Mackle and her boyfriend Hayden will be apart until the alert level changes. They're taking it one day at a time, but Mackle said day one was tough - it was Hayden's birthday.

"It was just kinda weird being like to him yesterday, 'Happy birthday, but I can't see you ... I can ring you but I can't see you'. I didn't get him any presents because I wasn't going to go down to the shops.

"I was like, 'what did you do' and he was like, 'just played Xbox ... what else am I going to do, I played Xbox and drank beer."

Mel (left) and girlfriend Rebecca Leigh

Mel and Rebecca Leigh. Photo: Supplied

Rebecca Leigh and her girlfriend Mel are used to not seeing each other often. They've been in a long-distance relationship since the end of 2018 and typically see each other every two or three weeks.

But Leigh said the uncertainty of the lockdown period had made being apart much more challenging.

"There's always been something to look forward to. We've always had stuff lined up in the calendar, it's always been all good because 'it's only two weeks left' or 'I'm going to see you Friday night and I'm really looking forward to it'.

"Not having that is weird, and I don't know that it's even really sunk in yet."

She said being in a long-distance relationship had meant in some ways, they were better prepared for the lockdown than others.

"We're in touch throughout the day and we'll usually Facetime every other night anyway, so at the moment we're continuing that and I think we'll talk this weekend about some other things we could do, like I know there's the Netflix party - it would be nice to pick a movie or a series to watch together, and a dinner date would be really cute over Facetime, I feel like that's a nice idea."

Couples separated during the lockdown have plenty of time to get creative with their virtual date ideas - there are at least 21 days of isolation to go.

Are you in a similar situation? Tell us how you are making sure the spark stays alive by emailing iwitness@rnz.co.nz

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