My boyfriend and I come from opposite ends of the same hemisphere, yet the world we both met in is now gone.
It was a beautiful world, one where you kissed the cheek of each new person you met and offered a share of your drink to someone else. One where strangers weren’t strangers, but just friends you haven’t met yet.
We met in the streets of Carnival in February 2018 amidst a crowd of over a million people. We were just a Brazilian boy and an American girl who would have never crossed paths otherwise.
In 2020, our long distance love story took a turn. Covid hit while I was visiting him. I returned home in early March, right before our countries went into lockdown.
As an essential worker at an apartment complex, I returned to work immediately. “Please be safe,” Rafa told me. I entered apartment after apartment hoping that I wouldn’t contract this new virus that was turning the world upside down.
“It’s just a little flu,” Bolsonaro said in one hemisphere, while Trump insisted the virus would be gone by summer in the other.
It was four months before the virus penetrated the walls of his home. It was relentless. First, it took his father. Then his aunt. Then his uncle.
I watched from 5,000 miles away. My father and mother worked from home. My brother attended class from his bed. It was a mirage of a life we once lived, but it was a life nonetheless.
It’s 2021 and my boyfriend has yet to receive the second dose of the vaccine. My father has already had his booster shot.
Hannah Goldfarb is an International Studies and Political Science major with minors in Human Rights Studies, Management, and Spanish at UNC Asheville and serves on the editorial board.