Love in the Time of Cholera, I Mean, Coronavirus

Surviving walking dates during the world’s longest lockdown

Hannah Furst
3 min readSep 29, 2021


Me wearing three very different walking date outfits

It was late afternoon and I was standing on the corner of Punt Road. I leaned in to give him a “mwah” on the cheek. It was awkward, as these things are at peak hour on a Thursday afternoon at the busiest intersection in Melbourne.

“Wanna make out?” He said.

“Here?” I laughed nervously.

“We can pretend we’re somewhere else. Like a holiday romance.”

I side-eyed the nosy walkers crowding around the traffic lights a few meters away. “Sure.”

And so we made out. Passionately, with tongue and everything.

As I walked off into the sunset, I texted my mom immediately (yes, I know, I have issues). “Omg I just made out with him on the corner of Punt Road LOL.”

She replied, “Lol. You go girl. I saw you. I was so embarrassed, I can’t even! Dad and I were on our walk. Seriously, who do you think you are? Kourtney and Travis!”

“Omg, no you didn’t? I’m dying… Omg I’m actually dying.” My face was burning.

I got a text back. “Yes we did. Die girl.”

I later found out this was one of my mom’s elaborate hoaxes (one of the reasons I have issues?). But for those few hours when I thought my parents had seen me (passionately) pashing a guy on the street in the middle of the day, I desperately missed my dating life BC (Before COVID).

In Melbourne, where we have endured the longest lockdown in the world, we have officially arrived in a new era of dating. Gone is the spark of electricity as two legs touch in the dark corner of a dark bar (all the bars closed). Gone are stolen kisses in dark alleyways at midnight (um, curfew). Gone are the diarrhea-inducing “wanna get a quick bite to eat?” texts (good luck getting a table anywhere).

COVID turned fringe ideas into mainstream ones: remote work, wearing pajamas in public, situational depression, Zoom fatigue, soft-core porn on Netflix, gingham face masks, and yes, the walking date. Hence my afternoon pash with The Punt Road Kisser (his official serial killer name, by the way).



Hannah Furst

Award-nominated Aussie podcaster & freelance marketer. Some days I write satire. Other days I feel a bit more serious.