There are some things even the coronavirus cannot stop. One such thing is the love between 85-year old Inga Rasmussen from Denmark and 89-year old Karsten Hansen from Germany. Due to closed borders, they have to meet halfway at the border crossing to see each other, refusing to let the virus get in their way.

Inga Rasmussen is 85 years old. Karsten Hansen is 89 years old. She is Danish. He is German. Since they met two years ago, not a day has gone by without them seeing each other. Their commitment to companionship has been challenged by the new travel restrictions put in place to combat the spread of the virus, but Inga and Karsten are not letting it get in their way. Now that they are unable to visit each other in their respective countries, the two now meet every day at the closed border crossing. Of course, they keep a safe distance.

Inga Rasmussen lives in the Danish border town of Gallehus, and Karsten Hansen resides in Süderlügum, Germany. The two towns are about 15 kilometres and one state border apart. A journey that is usually made with ease, but the border between Denmark and Germany has been closed for two weeks due the spread of the coronavirus. Travelling the full 15 kilometres has therefore become an impossible hurdle to negotiate. But love is inventive: Every afternoon, Inga and Karsten meet halfway at the border. Rasmussen drives by car and 89-year old Hansen rides his e-bike to meet his love.

Dating in times of corona
Dating in times of corona at the Danish-German border / Screenshot: Facebook/ORF

Corona can´t stop love

The couple meets every day at the border crossing Møllehus-Aventoft. There, they sit on either side of the barrier marking the border on chairs they have brought with them from home. They eat lunch, drink coffee and read the newspaper. In the evenings before the emergence of the coronavirus, they would drink a cup of “Geele Köm”, a regional hot tea with alcohol. Now, they accompany that drink with a toast to each others well-being across a distance of two meters and a state border. “Cheers to your health”, Karsten says.

The couple, whilst carrying out their creative solution, strictly keeps a safe distance. They refrain from hugs, kisses or even a handshake. By doing so, they help to decelerate the spread of the coronavirus. It seems Inga and Karsten have heard the appeal made by Italians and are respecting the wishes of their fellow Europeans. Italians, currently facing a dire situation in the coronavirus pandemic, recorded a message for themselves of ten days ago, pleading for solidarity and asking the rest of world to take the coronavirus seriously.

Dates at the border crossing

Inga Rasmussen and Karsten Hansen have found fame because the mayor of the Danish town Tondern, Henrik Fransen, took a photograph of the couple while accidentally meeting them during a bike ride. Fransen posted the picture on Facebook and many shared this story of love in the time of coronavirus. It is, says the mayor, a sign of cohesion and team spirit in difficult times.

Meanwhile, Inga and Karsten try to not let the virus affect their relationship. Sitting on their home-chairs facing each other across the border, they plan to travel again in the future. There are some things even the coronavirus cannot stop. Love is one of them.

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Screenshot: Facebook / Henrik Frandsen