Inga lives in Denmark. Karsten lives in Germany. The border between Germany and Denmark is now almost completely closed due to the worsening situation in both countries from the coronavirus outbreak. However, this hasn’t deterred their love.
Each day, Inga Rasmussen, 85, and Karsten Tüchsen Hansen, 89, meet each other at the border to chat, eat lunch or share some biscuits and have a flask of coffee or Geele Köm — a popular spirit from the region.
“Cheers to the love,” said Hansen as they toasted each other.
Normally they would embrace, kiss and hug. But now they must keep their distance.
The two sit on either side of the red-and-white barrier marking the border — on chairs they have brought with them from home. The pair have been meeting up every day at the closed border crossing at Aventoft.
Inga and Karsten are hoping to travel again when the restrictions are lifted
Love knows no borders
Hansen lives in Süderlügum in Germany’s Nordfriesland region, Rasmussen in the Danish town of Gallehus.
Hansen rides his e-bike from Süderlügum to his afternoon dates. Rasmussen drives her car to the border.
On March 14, Denmark closed large parts of the border to the German border state of Schleswig-Holstein. Two days later, Germany followed suit.
“It’s sad, but we can’t change it”, said Rasmussen. The pair has frequently talked over the phone since the border closure and try their best to meet every day, not letting the pandemic affect their relationship.
The couple met two years ago purely by chance, they explained. Since March 13 last year, they have spent every day together.
“I am otherwise always with Karsten,” said Rasmussen. But the time in between is already long, when you’re alone, she added.
The couple hopes that by Easter they can visit each other again. They have also made plans for the future. When the restrictions are lifted —they would like to travel again.
A happy bride and groom celebrate their romance in a mass wedding ceremony at the Cheong Shim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, a northern city in South Korea. The wedding took place on February 7, before mass cases of the virus were detected in the country.
220 couples in the central Filipino city of Bacolod exchanged their vows and kisses on February 20 in a government-sponsored mass wedding. “It feels different to kiss while wearing masks, but it is required,” Groom John Paul told Australia’s ABC news.
A bride in the Filipino capital of Manila wore a protective mask as she waited to walk down the aisle during a mass wedding at Manila Hotel Tent city. The wedding took place on February 14 – Valentine’s Day, a popular date for mass weddings in the country. The Philippines has three confirmed cases of the coronavirus and one person has died so far.
One mass wedding in South Korea distributed 30,000 face masks to the crowd, according to French news agency AFP. The wedding took place at the Unification Church, founded by Sun Myung Moon who is revered as a messiah by his followers.
Festivals, graduation ceremonies and K-pop concerts have been cancelled over fears big events could lead to virus transmission.
While masks were distributed to participants and guests, not everyone chose to wear one.
A festive mood filled the venue. Many of the couples’ family and friends also attended the ceremony. Mass weddings in South Korea date back to the early 1960s.