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Ben Affleck And JLo Kissing At The Met Gala Is A Stark Reminder Of How Long The Pandemic's Dragged On

It’s been months of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck dominating headlines with their whirlwind and rekindled romance. This week, the two attended the Met Gala together, with JLo rocking a Wild West-friendly Ralph Lauren number. The two also took some red carpet photos, one of which had Ben and Jen kissing through their masks and it was that moment that stood out and really made me think about how long the pandemic has dragged on.

The two stars looked great together on the red carpet, as has become a bit of a norm in recent weeks, but one moment stood out starkly--when Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck kissed through their face masks, a reminder that pandemic protocols are still in place as we approach the tail end of 2021.

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While most of the red carpet looks from the night feature celebs sans mask, one look rolling around the Internet involves Lopez and Affleck kissing through their masks. If you can remember back that far, this isn’t the first time Ben Affleck has been seen in a paparazzi pic kissing through a mask. In fact, early on in the pandemic he quarantined with his now-ex Ana de Armas. Things got serious enough that they were seen on long walks -- and kissing through masks. At one point they reportedly were even looking into getting a place together.

Ultimately, however, while they dated for about a year, that romance fizzled out and Ben Affleck moved on with Jennifer Lopez. Now they are the ones kissing through masks. This is not a bad thing. In fact, the return of Bennifer I think has been exciting for fans of both members of the celebrity couple, but the moment this week still points out how long that Covid has gone on for.

I remember when things initially shut down, it seemed like major movies including A Quiet Place Part II might only be pushed back a few weeks… and then a few months and more passed before it hit theaters. Right away, F9 had pushed back its release date an entire year and I distinctly remember thinking, ‘That seems like a really premature move.’ As it turns out, Universal was totally prescient about what was to come. Mask life has been the new normal for what is approaching two years now.

Meanwhile, Ben Affleck’s love life has been a stark reminder of how some things change and how some things remain the same. And while he and JLo looked exceedingly cute smooching on the red carpet, it also made me recall that not so long ago, the actor’s love life had a totally different cadence to it. Having said all of this, it’s also worth noting that even without the major masked smooch, Jennifer Lopez had a daring look for the Met Gala she also shared on Instagram with her 176 million followers.

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I'm sure she would have made headlines regardless, although having another a-lister -- and a rekindled romance -- as eye candy always helps. Here’s to 2022 and the hope that our favorite a-listers stick it out this time.

Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.