As cheesy as it sounds, love knows no bounds, or borders. The proof that your cold heart needs: Inga Rasmussen (85) lives in Denmark and Karsten Tüchsen Hansen (89) lives in Germany. Each day the couple meet at the closed Danish-German border for a coffee date, sharing stories across the red and white barrier.
On 14 March, Denmark closed its land border with Germany to slow the progress of COVID-19. The closure has divided life for citizens who regularly commute between the two countries for work, family or social engagements. People have adapted though, respecting the measures and making necessary adjustments to their daily routines. One couple in particular has found a way to make it work for them despite living on opposite sides of the border.
Eighty-nine year old Karsten Tüchsen Hansen from Germany and his Danish girlfriend Inga Rasmussen, who met two years ago, are now divided by the closed border. Before the coronavirus outbreak, they used to meet up every day for coffee and biscuits in the border town of Aventoft in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.
With the border now closed and non-essential movement restricted, they've had to tweak their dates. They can't embrace because of social distancing but they can still catch up on either side of the red and white barrier, keeping two metres apart. According to DW, each day Hansen cycles from his home in Süderlügum and Rasmussen drives from her home in Gallehus. A journey that takes approximately 20 minutes each way. They bring fold-up chairs, flasks of coffee, a packed lunch, biscuits and, when the mood strikes, a bottle of Geele Köm, a North Sea spirit.
"It's sad, but we can't change it", Rasmussen told DW. "I am otherwise always with Karsten," she added. "But the time in between is already long, when you're alone."
The newspaper reports that the couple speak on the phone every day and are making plans to travel again when the restrictions are lifted.
Denmark was one of the first European countries to close its borders on 14 March. Germany followed shortly after on 16 March, closing its land borders with Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, and Luxembourg.