Harrisites’ plans for spending Valentine’s Day amid a pandemic

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Candy grams, narwhal plushies, and multi-colored carnations had signified the arrival of Valentine’s Day at Townsend Harris last year. However, with the global pandemic this year, Harrisites are exploring creative ways to safely celebrate Valentine’s Day.

In lieu of the pandemic, many students have chosen to make their plans more COVID-safe. Some students plan on celebrating by having a movie night with friends. Rather than opting to go out with his larger group of friends, senior Xu Dong plans on hanging out with a close friend nearby. He said, “We will be watching Studio Ghibli movies together and eating some takeout or hot pot.”  

Senior Kayla Pan echoed a similar sentiment, abiding by COVID-19 safety precautions by scrapping her usual in-person Valentine’s Day activities. She said, “I plan on not celebrating it, but maybe just Netflix partying a movie with my buds, because no one is allowed out of their houses and I don’t want to catch Covid-19.” Freshman Sophia Shi also plans on meeting with friends virtually. “I’m going to be on Zoom with friends and just having conversations and playing games,” she said.

However, others believe that this Valentine’s will be just like any other for them. Junior Ada Lin said, “I wouldn’t say it changed drastically due to the pandemic but there are things I used to do during the school year. For instance, buying flowers/messages to send to my friends during lunch. Other than that, I usually don’t really do much to celebrate.” Junior Lynda Irizarry added that she plans on staying home to watch Netflix and practicing self-love.

In spite of the pandemic, some couples are still finding ways to make this year’s Valentine’s Day special. Sophomores Piyas Baidya and Amanda Nakhul said that they will be meeting up to make Valentine’s themed brownies, exchange gifts, and watch a movie together, with Piyas adding that “cuddling sessions are definitely going to happen.” Both Piyas and Amanda have said that they will both get tested for COVID prior to seeing each other for precautionary reasons. 

Meanwhile, some couples such as juniors Marykate Wee and Rakin Haq plan on spending Valentine’s day virtually this year. Marykate said, “Although Rakin and I would really like to spend Valentine’s day in person together, we wanted to stay safe so we decided to Zoom instead.” 

The pandemic has not stopped many Harrisites from making this year’s Valentine’s day a special one. Many plan to spend time with their loved ones, still making an effort to tell their friends and family members that they love and care for them.

Photo by Min Hyeok Shin, Photographer