Q: Should I continue to have physical contact with my significant other who does not live with me?
A: You technically can, but you shouldn’t.
Victoria County’s new “Stay Safe, Reopen Responsibly” orders do not prohibit you from seeing your significant other who lives in a separate home, but you should take recommendations from leaders and experts into account when making that decision, as well as you and your partner’s health and self-isolating conditions.
“While the new orders get rid of the prohibition of having members outside of your household over, it still is strongly recommended that you stay home and avoid contact with those outside of your home unless obtaining or providing an essential service,” said Ashley Strevel, communications director for the City of Victoria.
That advice applies to anyone who does not live in your household, including significant others, she said.
Social distancing is hard, especially when it comes to not being able to see your significant other in-person. Some couples have decided to co-quarantine, but there are other ways to stay connected if you have not.
Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University who focuses on the long term health effects of social connection, shared a few different ways to combat loneliness during a recent SciLine media briefing.
Holt-Lunstad suggested using phone calls, texts or video connection as a healthy coping mechanism for loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as establishing a routine, staying active and finding ways to creatively express yourself.
Unhealthier types of coping might include excessive sleep, excessive alcohol or substance use, overeating, she said, which everyone can look for in their significant other, friends or family to identify loved ones who are struggling and may need help during these difficult times.