Steve Marrow, who founded the kayak website called Paddle About, knew that during the COVID-19 pandemic, going to a party was out of the question—or at least it should have been.
Marrow and his wife went anyway.
“I was leery of going, but we were in serious need of socialization,” Marrow said. “Until that point, we hadn’t really done anything with friends. So we went to the party, had a great time, and came home.”
Afterward, Marrow offered some regret.
“If one of us had been sick, yes, for sure, I would have had regrets, but fortunately, we didn’t hear of anyone who got sick or had symptoms,” he said.
Marrow is one of the thousands (perhaps millions) who have not only found the pandemic as tough a challenge to navigate as any, but his story (and need for socialization rationale) is among the litany of ‘secrets’ Americans have kept to themselves during the first year of COVID-19.
Yurii Brown said he was forced to swallow some pride when he accepted a private loan from his father-in-law as a last resort to keep his business afloat.
Brown, the founder of Coffee Geek Lab, noted that he is on good terms with his in-laws, but he kept a promise he made at the altar.
“I said I would do my best, use all of my resources, and do all the things that I can do on my own to give my wife a steady life,” Brown said.
He revealed that his wife had no idea.
“Fortunately, the loan and my business strategy led to success, and my business has now found the momentum it needs during the crisis,” Brown said.
With stay-at-home orders, mask requirements, and social distancing, many others said they had to find a release, but they had to do it quietly.
For Maria Snider, that meant being dishonest with her family and friends about her video game and Instagram addiction.
“It was hampering my work life,” Snider said. “I would ignore events with family and friends. The isolation and the lack of communication started [bothering] me.”
Later, Snider revealed, she did take steps to reconnect with her loved ones, which required uninstalling certain social media and gaming apps.
For Sandra Henderson, revealing her pandemic secret isn’t as simple as uninstalling an app.
“My best friend got into a terrible fight with her girlfriend and she decided to kick her out of the house,” said Henderson. “I couldn’t bear seeing her out in the streets in the middle of the pandemic, so I offered my house to her without my best friend’s knowledge since I didn’t want to get involved in their fight.”
Months later and Henderson acknowledges that her best friend remains unaware of her gesture even though the feuding pair have reconciled.
“I really care for the two of them, and I already treat them as my own siblings,” she said. “So I tried multiple times to stand as their mediator, and thankfully, just last month, they reconciled. However, I still haven’t told my best friend how I helped her girlfriend seek shelter for five months.”
Reunions indeed count among the biggest pandemic secrets.
Stephan Jacob began dating his ex after months of quarantine and no action.
He noted that his one-time ex had caused him the biggest heartbreak, which triggered depression five years ago.
“My parents and friends would certainly disapprove of my decision to take her back, but I really love her. I am sure that they would discover it sooner or later, but there is only one reason that will justify my action: my love,” Jacob said.
Like Spring, Jacob’s hope is eternal.
“I believe that people change, and she has changed a lot,” he said. “When we started dating again, she has become more understanding and caring about me, and I know that I wouldn’t regret this decision.”