As China and the rest of the world fights the coronavirus, for many people love lights the way through this dark time. Sometimes it takes a crisis for our true hearts and souls to emerge, and when they do, it can make for both beautiful and unexpected gestures.
When a nation like China calls for quarantines and lockdowns, which have left many bound to their apartments, love has to find new ways to thrive, as the China Daily story Love wins out despite lockdowns, quarantine describes, particularly in this touching scene:
Chen Ying, who was born in the 1990s, is a nurse at a hospital in Zhejiang province. Her boyfriend, Huang Qianrui, visited Chen at the hospital after seeing a photo of the red marks left on her face by the tight protective mask she wore at work.
Chen cried as Huang Qiangru showed her that he had brought her favorite crucian carp soup and snacks. Standing on different sides of the ICU’s glass door, they cried and spoke via their cellphones.
The scene touched Chen’s colleagues, who shot a video.
“Are you feeling better?” Huang Qiangru asked Chen, referring to the marks made by the mask.
Chen: “Much better.”
Huang Qiangru: “I want to give you a hug.”
Chen: “I want to hug you, too.”
Huang Qiangru: “How? We can’t.”
Meanwhile, how about saying “I love you” with a bouquet of veggies? That’s a new kind of romantic gesture gaining traction in the time of the coronavirus, as chronicled in the story Masks, goggles and alcohol wipes become hot Valentine’s Day gifts:
At a Shanghai grocery store operated by Suning, people can online order a 258-yuan ($36) bouquet made of fresh produce, including broccoli, carrots, chili peppers and corn. Customers can pick up the bouquet or have it delivered to their sweethearts’ homes, so that their loved ones don’t need to go outside to buy groceries and risk catching the virus.
This unorthodox gift was surprisingly popular, and the store has sold over 50 batches since Tuesday, the store owner told local media. A female costumer surnamed Liu said her husband is tackling the epidemic in Shanghai, but he still prepared her a “surprise”.
“At first, I thought I was going to a store to pick up some rice or oil, I didn’t expect a hilarious bouquet of vegetables,” she said. “Now I believe sending roses and flowers are super lame. Sending your loved one produce, now that is true love.”
Meanwhile, stories of couples fighting the coronavirus together have emerged, including a duo that didn’t even realize they were working on the same floor of the hospital, as detailed in Couples stand together to fight the disease:
“I saw a familiar figure wearing a protective gown in the quarantine area. The name written on the gown was ‘Yu Chen’. When she turned around, I saw her eyes behind her goggles. I was shocked to find her on the same floor,” Ke said.
Yu said it was only when Ke called her name in a voice full of doubt that she confirmed they were working on the same floor.
After a moment of slight shock, they went back to their posts to continue their busy tasks.
“I can’t say I wasn’t afraid, but knowing he was around eased my worries. We encouraged each other through eye contact,” Yu said.
Although they had worked at the hospital before the outbreak, Ke suddenly saw Yu in a different light: “In this battlefield, I saw the power and courage in her small body, like a totally different person. In the middle of the battle against the virus our relationship was not just love, but a combination of family ties and wartime friendship. I don’t think anyone or anything will be able to sway it in the future.”
What unusual stories of love in the time of the coronavirus have you heard about? Share them in the comments.