By Riley Vance–
As the first Valentine’s Day of the pandemic approaches, many single students may feel relief that they won’t be the only ones at home by themselves this year.
For some, Valentine’s Day is full of chocolate, flowers, and cards from their loved ones. For others, it’s a dreadful day that comes once a year and couldn’t pass by faster.
The anxiety or fear of missing out (FOMO) on fun events is a real phenomenon that most people have probably experienced from time to time—especially college students.
Lalin Anik, assistant professor of business administration at the University of Virginia, analyzed the ways in which FOMO has continued through the pandemic.
“We wanted to see what might happen to FOMO during this time of COVID-19, when people are stuck at home, largely unable to travel, attend large gatherings or do many of the things we would normally do for fun.
“FOMO in the pandemic stems from the difficulty of catching up with all of the things being offered online, far more than we can be a part of or watch all at once,” said Anik.
In the pandemic, this means missing out on social gatherings via Zoom, conversations over social media or other online activities that might only be available for a short time.
This feeling of missing out can definitely be stronger on Valentine’s Day if you’re sitting at home binge-watching rom-coms like a hopeless romantic while simultaneously scrolling past couples posting pictures of their significant others sitting across the table from them at a fancy restaurant.
This year, however, is a completely different scenario.
Yes, there will still be a million Boomerangs of people clinking their glasses of wine or champagne together to celebrate their everlasting love for each other.
There will also be a number of people laying low this year as well, which some people may find comfort in.
Abby Ebersold, a senior communications major, is spending her night doing just that.
“I’m just spending my Valentine’s Day at home with my roommates. We’re going to watch movies, make dinner, and bake a fun dessert. There’s definitely no shame in having a low-key Valentine’s Day especially during the pandemic,” said Ebersold.
We all fall prey to blaming the pandemic for being lazy, unproductive, or anti-social. Now, you can blame the pandemic for spending your Valentine’s Day by yourself. You don’t even have to feel bad about it, because you’re technically doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re kind of saving lives.
So, this year for Valentine’s Day, order takeout from your favorite restaurant, watch your favorite movies, buy yourself some chocolate and flowers, and have an awesome night in by yourself. Take pride in knowing that you’re not contributing to the widespread transmission of the coronavirus.
Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal