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Couples Separated by Borders

There is no doubt the pandemic has been brutal for everyone. With spikes of the virus sharply increasing in the states and countries shutting down their borders to protect their citizens, it doesn’t seem like there will be any return to normalcy any time soon. But with the cases rising in the United States and the focus on hospitalizations and deaths, it’s easy to forget the little, more nuanced effects of the pandemic.

In a recent New York Times article reporter Megan Specia details the amount of separation that has occurred as a result of the pandemic and border closings. She tells the story of Marisa Lobato, a woman living in São Paulo, Brazil, who has been separated from her fiancé who lives in Germany where he was planning their wedding prior to the coronavirus outbreak. He remains in Germany, unable to return to his future wife.

She told the New York Times, “We feel completely stuck in this situation. I normally don’t cry in front of him, but I cry alone. It’s a really horrible feeling.”

But Specia and her fiancé are not the only ones. According to the article, there are no specific numbers for the amount of couples, as of right now, separated from one another due to the pandemic. Though, reported from Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, and her office, she has stumbled upon a Facebook support group for couples separated during the pandemic which has an estimated 3,000 members.

In an attempt to reunite couples once again, Johansson and her office look to widen the definition of what a “true” couple is. “For me it’s important that you have as broad as possible of a definition of a couple that are really a true couple.”

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