Another COVID-19 themed Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. For some, the sight of multicolored talking hearts is enough to send you into a blind rage in the middle of Fred Meyer.
Well, maybe it’s not that dire. But either way, Valentine’s Day is controversial. Some will wake up to flowers and chocolates on Monday morning, or maybe breakfast in bed. And some will watch from the sidelines, steeped in bitterness.
Whether you’re single, happily in love, or somewhere in between, you have a decision to face this Valentine’s Day: to go out or not to go out.
This year, like the last, that decision is a little bit more complicated than just finding a date or not. Though cases are on the decline, the Omicron variant still poses a big threat in Portland. And nothing ruins a romantic evening faster than testing positive for COVID-19.
To save you from a COVID-19 filled Tinder date or galentines party, here are some ways to stay COVID-safe this love (or hate) filled season:
Stock up on N-95 or KN-95 face masks. Studies have proven these to be significantly more effective in protecting against the Omicron variant than surgical or cloth face masks. It might not sound glamorous, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be festive! Grab some pink or red ones for the holiday, and be thankful your date won’t be seeing the food you got stuck in your teeth at dinner.
Host a romantic evening at home. Why risk going out in the first place? Pick up a bottle of champagne and some charcuterie, light some candles and put on your favorite jazz playlist or rom-com. 10 Things I Hate About You is calling your name.
3. Bundle up and stay outside. It might be chilly, but Portland has no shortage of beautiful outdoor scenery. Take a stroll beside the Willamette under the St. John’s Bridge, or, for the 21-and-up crowd, grab a drink at the Garrison and sit under the lights on their patio. My personal favorite idea? Visit the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. It’s wintertime, so the blooms might be dead, but maybe that is where some of you feel most at home this Valentines day.
Maybe just… stay single and stay home. What could be safer? Make sure you pick up some chocolate to keep you company, run a bath and wait patiently for February 15.
Sadie Wuertz is the Opinions Editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at email@example.com.