January 28, 2021

How I found COVID-19 on a Tinder Date.

In my undefeatable search for love, I built and unbuilt another wasted relationship and ended up single—once again.

That was almost two years ago; since then, I have met a couple of love birds but no one willing to build the nest for a home.

For a change, I decided to visit my family for a few weeks in my hometown and recharge. We celebrated my dad’s birthday as a joined communion of gratitude for his life because he was hit by COVID-19 and had miraculously survived a month before—and this is how it all started.

I had been talking with a guy who appeared on my Tinder list when I was visiting my dad during his recovery process.

So this second visit was my chance to see him again and get to know him better. I’m smiling while I try to collect a sort of description of this man: a stubborn and decisive personality with a bunch of experience adventuring the world for the last 12 years, a hard-edged character formed by his outstanding intelligence, and an eternal love for cats (the ones he owns and the ones he feeds on streets or roofs), strong arms, cozy hands, and small fidgety eyes, like the ones of a child; a man who kisses with a perfectly balanced combination of being soft and unforgettable.

We started the dating ride, but something was completely different this time.

I soon realized it was not only me letting things flow, but it was him making things real between us. I met his family, and he met mine, we dreamed about living together somewhere in Spain or Bogota, and we talked for hours, with a good coffee at a small place, about the dozens of things we had in common.

I could not believe I had finally found a person who could easily get me and really see me as I am—a person who felt like home.

Two weeks of this delusional ease had passed when it happened. “I tested positive for COVID-19. I’m sorry,” he said, logically assuming that I had it too. I took the examination two days later, proving his premonition.

The summer love was over. This meant that the time I had before going back to my life in another city would be quarantined in a room separated from him (and that being the best scenario given the lethal consequences of the virus).

We both showed signs of a cold, but his symptoms were way stronger and more painful than mine.

We had a couple of short video calls at the beginning, which were just attempts to hide our sick-like looks behind a smile. I miss yous, and I love yous came and went through our phone screens some days. He started to experience insomnia, which made him snooze during daylight and jumbled our chatting schedules. “I really don’t want to talk,” he would text after I’d rang his phone; “I don’t feel well.”

The days passed and brought less and less contact.

Many things have been said about COVID-19’s symptoms: from fast physical progression in the body to a variety of psychological consequences, including numbness; some people have even lost recent memories while having the virus. Fortunately, we did not show critical consequences. Nevertheless, there was one day when I felt hatred, a couple of days after diagnosis.

That day, discomfort inhabited me, along with a strange tension in the abdomen, like a nausea tangled in the front. I felt an inexplicable impulse to run away and be alone.

The quarantine stretched, and I started to volatilely feel confused, grateful, guilty, blessed, selfish, nostalgic, and resentful.

Yes, I was scared of death taking either of us, and yes, I feared we would not meet again. After long days of staring out of my window, I questioned myself:

Why are we always seeing our life as an imaginary puzzle that we should complete? Collect the pieces: a job, a car, a desk, a family, a comfort, a must-have. Why?

It’s never going to be perfect, and we don’t have an everlasting life to complete it.

Sometimes it’s good to see ourselves as the piece in the puzzle. That’s what I really feared during the quarantine. Not yet having found my puzzle spot, or worse, having had found it and not being able to make it.

We talked by phone one last time before I left, and we agreed to meet soon to start things over, hoping that the ride continues.

I believe this is just a tough edge of the big puzzle, but will we still recognize each other in it? As long as we can breathe deeply, we will have another chance to meet at our blanks, and hopefully, be able to really feel that it still feels real.


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Yudy B. Artunduaga D.  |  Contribution: 980

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