Well-Being Prevention & Cures

Love in the time of coronavirus: how people celebrated Valentine’s Day under quarantines

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There’s nothing quite like a coronavirus quarantine to kill the mood on Valentine’s Day. But it didn’t stop thousands of people in China from celebrating online, where #Valentine’sDay was the top trending hashtag on Chinese social media platform Weibo, with more than 12 million posts garnering 5.5 billion views.

And while it didn’t meet the heavy expectations for their first Valentine’s Day together, one couple interviewed by the South China Morning Post made the best of it, watching “The Titanic” together through an app. Weiguang allows multiple people to simultaneously watch a movie and chat, so while Rose Liu was in Beijing and her boyfriend was quarantined in Hebei province after going home for the Lunar New Year, they still got to connect. 

Many other apps and online platforms became hot spots this Valentine’s Day as the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, known officially as COVID-19, emptied out traditional date venues. And in lieu of chocolate and flowers, delivery app Meituan told the Post that searches for masks, goggles and antiseptic cotton tripled in the three days leading up to Feb. 14 from the week before. 

Even Pornhub seized the opportunity to feature a special offer on its homepage in Chinese. The adult video website is officially blocked in China, but for those with virtual private networks (VPNs), the site offered free access to premium content. 

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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