Covidtines Day, UNCA celebrates valentines during the pandemic


Abram Carter

A gathering of usual Valentines Day gifts used to celebrate the holiday.

Abram Carter, [email protected], News writer

The Valentine’s Day holiday looks different from the previous years, with an increase in online dating sites and a decrease of people becoming romantically involved during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It’s a day other than the story of Saint Valentine, to be showing love and appreciation for anybody and everybody in your life, whether that be romantic or platonic,” said Eevee Perozzi, a junior at UNC Asheville. 

With the pandemic looming over Valentine’s Day, couples attempt to show their appreciation for one another through different ways. 

Stephanie Wiener, a current senior at UNCA, said the holiday should still be something to celebrate even during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This holiday is meant for couples. Your significant other is already in your COVID  bubble, so there is no new risk,” Wiener said. “Most singles don’t go looking for a partner on Valentine’s Day.”

Single’s are not the only ones who do not usually show interest in Valentines Day, as there are couples who do not see the hype and choose not to celebrate. 

“I don’t really celebrate the holiday because my husband believes that showing appreciation to me everyday is better than just one day,” said Michelle Bettencourt, a faculty member in the Spanish department at UNCA. 

While the day serves as a romantic holiday, for others it represents a day of self-relaxation.

“I am going to get a nice big tub of chocolate fudge ice cream and sit on the couch or bed and watch Howl’s Moving Castle, and go to bed content,” Katt Snyder, a single freshman at UNCA said about her holiday plans. 

There have also been new ways to meet with and see others for those who are interested in romance. 

Various avenues for interactions include creating a Zoom call, using virtual gaming or even downloading a bunch of different dating apps to meet new people. 

“I use Bumble and I technically use Tinder, but I have it more as a joke, but Bumble is interesting, it keeps proposing romantic things and people and even Tinder has romantic mode which is stupid cause I don’t like Tinder,” Snyder said. 

While some use a plethora of dating apps, others choose not to and instead spend the day with their partner.

“I am in a three and a half year relationship, and so I’ve never personally used a dating app, but I know that some people find them helpful. I’ve heard that Asheville Tinder is pretty dry though,” said Faith Shaughnessy, a senior at UNCA. 

Along with this rise of online dating, an anonymously run Instagram account called provided students with another way to find a relationship before Valentine’s Day.

“It seems like a new way to find a space to hookup,” Wiener said.

Information about the account remains scarce as students question the true intentions of the account. 

“From what I’ve heard and seen about the UNCA dating page, it would probably be a better deal to just get a hotel room,” Shaughensssy said. 

According to the CDC, even though COVID-19 cases are decreasing, 75 thousand more deaths are expected before Feb. 26. This can be a cause of concern for those looking to travel or go places before or on the romantic holiday.

“At this stage I think the only change may be if some people used to travel to celebrate, they may not this year,” Perozzi said.

Despite the numbers, travel remains a point of interest for some. 

Bettencourt said with the pandemic still present, holiday plans may fall short for some depending on where they reside or go. 

“I think because of COVID, it depends on the community you live in. In Asheville, I’ve seen a lot of people out and about lately, mainly at restaurants,” Bettencourt said.  

Lindsay Wheeler working at the Highsmith front desk with fun Valentines Day decorations. (Abram Carter )

As the romantic holiday remains uncertain for some, Wiener said pricing for holiday themed gifts can be frustrating.  

“Just because it’s in a heart shaped box and there is less candy doesn’t mean the price should be increased,” Wiener said. 

Even though the candy is expensive now, it is expected to be on sale Feb. 15. also known as National All Singles Day. 

“I am excited for chocolate to be on sale because I am a broke single, chocoholic, college student,” Snyder said.