By Sophia Yakumithis

On March 12, the NCAA cancelled its March Madness tournament during a 24-hour period of coronavirus-induced mass hysteria. Also on March 12, my boyfriend coughed on me. 

I was doing treatment at the hospital for pre-existing health issues. Hospitals have sketchy air quality as it is, but in the midst of COVID-19, being seen with a hacking 20-something is almost as embarrassing as Michael Bloomberg’s short-lived presidential campaign. 

My mind began to wander. I, a young woman injected with radioactive materials for an imaging test, was probably less of a threat to public health than him. Just because he coughed in a hospital.

What if he has the virus? Is he irresistible enough that I would risk it for the biscuit? 

No, I decided. I have seen him bite into string cheese. 

Since almost everyone in the country is now doing online college, he assumes we’ll be spending more time together. However, coronavirus boy needs to re-evaluate things, because I’ve already thought up some ways to make sure love stays in the sterilized air during our independent self-quarantine periods. 

Spruce yourself up

Video chat platforms are crucial for maintaining long distance relationships in the 21st century. And just because you’re not seeing your S.O. in person doesn’t mean you should let yourself go. 

Lucky for you, self-quarantine is an opportunity to experiment with unique, timely trends like surgical face masks. You know, to keep the ol’ ‘rona off your cutie’s perfect little face. Ariana Grande made a streetwear statement in a black Fendi mask last January, so why can’t you?

Or, better yet, surprise your sweetie and log onto that 8 p.m. Skype call in your sexiest hazmat suit. Move over, phone sex — we’ve got some disinfecting to do.

FaceTime poetry readings

John Donne’s “Death Be Not Proud” or Alexander Pope’s “Ode on Solitude” are perhaps the most morbidly fitting works for this romantic activity. 

If you have an anxiety disorder, constant poetic reminders of your potential coronavirus-related death are easier to process in the company of your S.O. and will motivate both of you to take measures that will bypass your impending dooms.

Send each other care packages

When you’re in college, there’s nothing like receiving a goodie bag from loved ones. Get thematic, and send your partner gifts that will help pass the time, but will also keep them safe from COVID-19. 

From my observations at a supermarket-turned-warzone in my midwestern hometown, some corona-themed trinkets include stock-piled paper towels, a rapture-ready quantity of packaged water bottles, canned foods, enough hand sanitizer to qualify your blood alcohol content as unsafe to drive and Tide Pods, cause you never know when they’ll need them. 

And if you ignore my caution and are quarantined together, load up on condoms, since we don’t want another generation of Boomers to come out of this isolation period.