Love in the time of corona

Nathan and Lizzy are a couple. Nathan is 18 and Lizzie is 17. They were both due to complete their A-levels this summer. Until a few weeks ago, Nathan and Lizzy could see each other whenever they wanted. But since the coronavirus ‘lockdown’, they have had to maintain their relationship at a distance.

The present

Nathan

Lizzy and I have been together since May last year. Her best friend set us up. It looks like we will still be in lockdown for her 18th birthday and on our anniversary. I thought about delivering her birthday presents and watching her open them from the window, but I don’t think even that will be possible now.

I am missing her so much. It feels like months since I’ve seen her, even though it hasn’t been that long. I am glad for modern technology. It keeps us in close contact. I don’t know how I would cope otherwise.

How will it feel to see Lizzy again? It will be amazing.

Lizzy

Nathan and I met through a friend. I thought he was really nice, and funny. It’s been very difficult not seeing each other. We’ve tried ringing and texting but it’s just not the same. We are in contact all the time, all day, texting and playing quizzes.

When I see him again it will be good. I’ll be happy once it’s all over. I’m excited about our anniversary. We’ll have to work around it if we can’t see each other.

I have made him some brownies and I’m going to post them to him. This is the first time I've posted something. He doesn't know about it. It is a nice surprise.

The future

Nathan

I am hoping to train to be a pilot. It has been my dream since I was five or six. I have made it through the whole selection, so if coronavirus was to scupper the plans I would be gutted. I am so nearly there.

The training academy has reassured me. They sent out an email. I will have to do some online training now, things may be a bit slower, but I think it will be OK.

Lizzy and I have already talked about our future. It feels weird that everything is so uncertain. We accepted that when I start my pilot training and she goes to university, we are going to be apart but we are not planning on ending it.

Lizzy

When our A-levels were cancelled, I was shocked at first. I didn’t know what to think. There wasn’t much information. Now that we know more I feel confident. I want to study Business Management at university. It will go on predicted grades, and my grades have been quite consistent all the way through.

We are learning online. The teachers send us questions and give feedback on our answers. We use online textbooks. I miss seeing people at college. You can always talk to your friends on social media, but you don’t have contact with everyone in your class.

We plan to stay together when I go to uni.

Working

Lizzy

I have a job at the moment. I was saving up for our holiday in the summer, but now that’s probably not going to go ahead. So I’m saving up for hopefully going to university instead.

I work in a supermarket. Going there feels risky. I don’t know what will happen with that. I check stock, put stock on shelves and make sure there’s enough of everything. There has been a shortage of pasta and toilet roll.

The supermarket has told us to keep washing our clothes and to keep our distance. It is all marked on the floor now. It is quite hard to stay two metres apart all the time but we are trying. When you are lifting boxes and things you can’t really be two metres apart.

Holidays

Nathan

The thing that bothers me the most is losing the summer. Although we don’t know if we will yet. We had a holiday planned - a week in Tenerife. I was thinking of going camping with college mates too. That might not happen.

My two main hobbies have been put on hold - karting and aeroplanes. I want to go to the airport but there are hardly any planes flying. Karting has been cancelled for at least another month. It’s my last year so I want to get in as many meetings as possible. I need practice as well!

I miss seeing my mates every day.

Home

Lizzy

Home has been good. I’m with my Mum and Dad, it’s just the three of us. We have been going out for walks. I have been painting a lot. I really wanted to do painting by numbers, so I thought this was my chance, as there is nothing else to do!

Nathan

I’ve lost the structure of my life a little bit.

Having all this free time at home, half the time I don’t know what to do with myself. Even going out for a walk - that only lasts half an hour. With college, you got up in the morning. You had something to go out to during the day, and then you came home and did stuff.

Mum is great at organising things for us to do - yoga sessions, stuff out in the garden. Mum gets us to make our beds in the morning. If you have achieved that little task then you are motivated to achieve more in the day.

I try not to pay too much attention to the news because it’s depressing. I tend to wake up, eat my meals, do a bit of college work and play online video games. It’s nice to see and hear everyone, even if we’re not together.

Reunited

Nathan

How will it feel to see Lizzy again? I don’t really know. I’ve never experienced this before. It will be amazing. Every day I think about what we’re going to do, where we’re going to go in summer. I just can’t wait to see her again.

For advice on looking after your mental health during this time, you can visit YoungMinds or Mind.

Gap year tales – the power of friendship
Coronavirus: Your stories collection
collection
Coronavirus: The lone pianist