The pandemic’s effects on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day of 2021 consisted of lots of changes compared to previous years that were not affected by a pandemic.

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Valentine’s Day of 2021 consisted of lots of changes compared to previous years that were not affected by a pandemic.

Valentine’s Day has just occurred, and this year was very different due to the pandemic. It was the only holiday that has not been affected by COVID-19. Plans were changed and sales have plummeted compared to previous years. Many couples and families swapped out what would have been a dinner at a nice restaurant, for a stay-at-home celebration.

Beverly Andre, owner of BeHart Counseling Services, states, “This year, couples are trying to figure out how to celebrate safely to minimize exposure, but still have all the romantic feels.” The yearly trends of getting together and celebrating relationships are now put on hold.

Not only does the pandemic make it difficult for safe plans to be made, but the economic crisis that comes with it has made many decide to skip the celebration as a whole. Some chose to sit this one out due to being caught up in money being lost due to the virus.

While Valentine’s Day is usually about spending time celebrating with your significant other, this year was very different. This year included spreading love and comfort to health workers, teachers, friends, classmates, pets, etc.

Although the normal restaurant sales during this time period have been decreasing, expanding the meaning of the holiday this year comes with more sales gift-wise. Despite there still being a drop in spending budgets, 2021 Valentine’s Day sales were still the second highest in terms of spending, according to National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics Survey. With the expansion of people to celebrate the holiday with, it comes with more gifts to buy.

Serena Arellano, senior at Decatur, has experienced the effects of having to stay home during times like this. “It is definitely hard during holidays, where I have to stay home and celebrate from a distance. In normal circumstances I would be out with my friends, but the best I can do is give a phone call or message,” she stated.

“All couples should make an effort to treat the day special — even if they do not typically celebrate these ‘Hallmark holidays’ — dress up and celebrate,” states Caroline Madden, PhD, a family therapist. It is highly encouraged to still follow COVID-19 guidelines, but still find ways to celebrate with your loved ones. The pandemic has taken a huge toll on mental health, so finding ways to make this holiday serve its purpose is important.

Dianne Wiley, PhD, family therapist stated, “This year, you can sidestep any expectations of traditional ways to celebrate and start some new traditions. Stay at home and create a ‘bubble of love’.” This year’s meaning of Valentine’s Day is much different than before, but is still a reason to spread love during this tough time.