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Arts & Culture ᐊᔨᐦᑐᐧᐃᓐ

Love in the Time of Covid

BY Ben Powless Feb 1, 2022

Another year has passed under Covid restrictions, and Valentine’s Day is upon us again. Yet it doesn’t have to be a dreary affair. The Nation has prepared a few ideas for you and your significant other – or even some pals, for those who aren’t paired up – to do this February 14. Whether you’re feeling like getting cozy and cuddly, or doing something more active, here are a few ideas for making the most of this Valentine’s Day.

For a Bit of Fun

If you’re looking for something more exciting, there’s a few options to connect with your inner child and your partner at the same time. With good weather, consider spending a day outside. Make a snow fort and build up a snowball arsenal for an epic snowball fight. Or if you’ve got some kids or nieces and nephews you can borrow some Nerf guns or you can even make your own indoor fort with pillows, sofa cushions and blankets. 

If that’s not an option, you could order a new board game or puzzle and plan for a long night in. Feel like showing off your singing voice? Websites like Singa.com let you turn your living room into a live karaoke bar. With thousands of songs, you’re sure to find some old favourites to croon out on your laptop or smartphone.

A Unique Gift

Odds are that, like most people, you have a phone camera that’s jam-packed with photos of you, your partner, kids or pets. And while it’s nice to have these readily able to share online, there’s still something special about having access to photos in physical form. So, this Valentine’s, consider ordering a custom-made photobook to surprise your significant other and have something you can treasure and even pass down. Websites like Blacks.ca and Costco (with membership) allow you to upload your photos online and choose the layout – though orders can take a few weeks to arrive. 

Spa Night

For those looking to take things to the next level, try an extravagant spa night. It’s the perfect excuse to indulge and soak away the winter blues. Plan ahead and buy some bath bombs, aromatherapy oils, candles and massage oils, or make do with whatever you have around the house. Try a nice, hot soak with relaxing music under the dim glow of candlelight. Let your favourite scents transcend you and finish off with a soothing massage.  

Make a Delicious Meal Together

What more romantic way to spend the night than cooking up a delicious meal and enjoying it together? You could have a professional chef guide you through the steps to up your culinary game. Websites like Cozymeal.com and SurLaTable.com allow you to do just that, booking a live session starting at $29-$39US. Make sure to check that you’ll be able to get the required ingredients, then connect with the chefs live as they take you through the process to create a delicious new meal. And the best part comes after, as you get to taste your new creation. Make sure to sign up ahead of time, as classes can fill up. 

For Long-Distance Couples (or Friends)

If you’re not able to be in the same place as your loved one, stuck in isolation, or single and just wanting to get together with some friends that night, consider having a virtual hangout. Web applications like Scener.com allow you to share your video and voice chat with up to 10 people as you watch your favourite content from sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ or even YouTube. So, plan some drinks, pop some popcorn, and you can spend as much intimate time together as possible.

For a Cozy Night In

If you’re looking to do something low-key, consider going for a relaxing evening of Netflix and chilling. Make some comfort food, get your favourite drink, pop some popcorn, turn down the lights, and cue up your movie marathon, putting together a list of either your favourite films, or paying a little extra to rent premium movies from sites like Amazon, Google Play or Apple. Even better, you can spend a little extra with Cineplex.com and rent movies that are still out in theatres. Don’t forget to turn your phone off. 

by Ben Powless, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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Ben Powless is a Kanien'kehá:ka and Anishnabek writer and photographer, currently living in Ottawa. He has a degree in Human Rights, Indigenous and Environmental Studies from Carleton University.