Throughout the pandemic, Emma Healey and her immunocompromised partner — a liver transplant recipient — have constantly weighed and navigated day-to-day risks. As Toronto opens up, making decisions have become even more confusing. In this essay, Healey reflects on health, risk, and love.

We are all making our decisions the same way—with one eye on the news and no idea what the rules should be. We talk about the summer, when maybe we can do things outside, feel the grip of all this worry loosen a little. Is this the right thing to do, or the only thing? I keep trying to remember that our lives have always been this way, just with different kinds of danger. It’s like falling in love, I tell myself. The calculus of risk, the never-ending mystery.

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.