“I get so sad missing him, compounded with all the doubt about when we get to restore our easy travel to each other’s cities,” Ms. Schneider said. To keep connected, they exercise together via FaceTime and tune in to the same lectures, synagogue services and musical events via Zoom. “I put on lipstick, comb my hair and put on jewelry that Larry has given me,” Ms. Schneider said. When they spot each other, they say hello with the Carol Burnett “ear tug.” And, Mr. Moss added, “in the absence of physical intimacy, we are exploring modes of long-distance intimacy.”
Pamela Hinchman, 64, a voice and opera professor at Northwestern University, married Ted DeDee, 70, last year. Her outlook on marriage had always been that “you don’t have to be glued to someone’s hip,” she said. (She has been divorced twice, and he was a widower.)
When they got engaged in 2018, he was living a two-and-a-half-hour drive away in Madison, Wis., with no plans to move in with her in Evanston, Ill., though he was retired. When he told her that the La Jolla Music Society in California needed a new chief executive, she told him, “That’s perfect for you.” Six months before their wedding, he came out of retirement to take the job.
For nearly a year, they have flown more than four hours about twice a month to see each other.
But in January, Mr. DeDee decided he would leave his job in June to focus on a health issue. When the coronavirus threat ramped up, he said he moved up his departure to mid-March “so I can be with my wife, simple as that.”
The coronavirus has changed Ms. Hinchman’s outlook, too. “It’s surprising to both of us, but life together has been put into perspective,” she said.
In the face of so much uncertainty and fear, what she most wants is to be with her husband. “Now the biggest priority is being there for each other, in person.”