SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Love may be in the air this Valentine’s Day weekend, but so is the coronavirus – and that’s changed everything when it comes to romance.
It really will be a Valentine’s Day unlike any other as COVID has put the kibosh on the quest for love.READ MORE: Man Found Clinging Under Tower Bridge Piling Rescued
Relationship expert Joey Garcia says the pandemic is having a big impact on people’s Valentine’s Day plans.
“People are so afraid because they don’t want to get COVID,” Garcia said.
A survey by Match.com found more than 70% of singles say they have not had sex during the pandemic.
“I think there’s a lot of loneliness and sadness,” Garcia said.
One interesting impact – businesses like Sacramento’s L’amour Shoppe are seeing rising demand for their adult novelties.
“Since the pandemic started, sales have gone up, up, up,” said Puppy Limerick of L’amour Shoppe.READ MORE: Disguised On DoorDash? Several Chain Restaurants Marketing Food Under Different Names
Traditionally, most customers are men, but now they’re seeing a surge of women coming in to purchase products for themselves.
“A store like this can help stave off a little bit of that cabin fever and the sort of isolation and loneliness that comes from that,” Limerick said.
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Another trend is people having relationships with their close contacts like roommates or co-workers.
“There’s an old song ‘Love The One You’re With,’ I think that’s kind of what’s happening here,” Garcia said. “There’s nothing wrong with it, we just want to make sure we’re not entering that relationship because of last-ditch, ‘I don’t have anything else.'”
And Garcia says Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be depressing for people without a partner during the pandemic.
“It’s a day when you can celebrate yourself. Send yourself flowers if that’s important to you or draw your own bubble bath,” she said. “Order in from your favorite restaurant. It can be a really sweet holiday for everyone.”MORE NEWS: Turkey Shatters Window, Breaks Into Fair Oaks Dentist's Office During Patient Appointments
And for those of us thinking the pandemic would trigger a baby boom, it’s quite the opposite because of added stress and so much uncertainty. The Brookings Institute says there will be 300,000 fewer births this year in the United States. – and that’s changed everything when it comes to romance.