This Just In: Love Is Actually Not Tourism

Separated since March by COVID travel bans, international couples are now starting to break up, cancelling their entire future, in large part due to the incompetence, indifference and / or laziness of the people in power.

Us in 2007, somewhere in Manhattan.

France has always prided itself on being the Country of Love and the United States the Leader of the Free World. Yet in this unprecedented time of crisis, when these grand self-declarations were tested, none of this turned out to be true.

Since March, the COVID travel ban has separated countless unmarried binational couples all around the world. You can find their stories online under the banner #loveisnottourism. And on December 26th, these couples are trying to raise awareness of their unique situation by creating one of those special online days that celebrate random things like donuts or puzzles. Don’t look for previous editions, this day didn’t exist last year.

The stories of these couples are warning us about the dangers of the virtual-first world some are now predicting / pushing as the new normal. They’re the living proof that if people can only connect online, they will eventually disconnect.

We’re now in December and, as one would expect, many of these couples are breaking up. And I can tell you from my own experience that this has nothing to do with love or commitment at this point. So now, all these futures are getting cancelled, and that is almost exclusively because of the incompetence, indifference and laziness of people in power. And there’s something truly infuriating about that. Because it really wasn’t that hard — countries like Germany did it.

Matthieu Silberstein is a filmmaker, an author, a French immigrant and a father. matthieusilberstein.com

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