12 miles apart

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What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.

All of the world was and is affected by the Covid-19 global health crisis— stringent caution for basically everything, change in lifestyle, job retrenchments, loved ones loss, among many others. It’s almost a year since the government where I live imposed lockdown and even with cases actively increasing, the policies became more lenient for the economy to gradually revive. The situation demands strenuous efforts for everyone just to live and the constant fear of getting the virus looms over every household.

Despite the situation and compared to other families, we’re fortunately at a better place. Both my brother and I still have work, and we’re able to cover living expenses and not worry if we’ll have enough to pay bills for the following month. It’s also because of Covid-19 that Dane and I spent the most time apart. We used to only see other two or three times a month— which was already few to begin with— but that became even less frequent at the onset of the pandemic.

When the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was imposed for a month starting March 15th, 2020, there was no way Dane and I could meet due to travel restrictions. The first month was bearable. We constantly talk throughout the day and still have our voice calls every night, like it was pre-pandemic. We would send memes, share about our days, and let each other know everything is fine despite the distance.

The country shifted to a variety of modifications for community quarantine, the next one more lenient than the one before it. However, both Dane and I have immunocompromised moms and we wouldn’t want to risk seeing each other at the cost of possibly taking home a virus that can be fatal to our families. It was a challenging experience and there were hours of crying involved from my end because of missing him too much. I’m not usually the clingy type, but that distance shook up how needy I can be without physical contact.

It was 5 months later before Dane and I saw each other again. I even had school the day he went (which is why I’m wearing earphones on this photo) with lectures I can’t afford to miss, but he was fine just sitting beside me in silence and holding my hand while I listen in class.

It may be a short time for some, especially those who are in actual long-distance relationships, but for us, that was already a long time. His family is supportive of our relationship, so while his driving license was still in process, his dad drove him over 20 kilometers to my place. And of course, the time we spent flew by.

I would say being apart more than we’re used to strengthens our relationship. It also made us value the time we have together much more. In this unprecedented times, adjustments are inevitable, but we refuse to use distance as a reason to grow apart.

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