SEATTLE—Their yearning almost palpable as the long wait ended and they finally surrendered to their desires, local couple Duncan Kirk and Maria Solis, who met during the pandemic, tenderly removed each other’s mask straps for the first time Tuesday. According to sources, the newly vaccinated pair approached each other carefully, at long last breaching the 6-foot distance they had maintained for the entirety of their 13-month relationship. Solis reportedly appeared nervous as she lifted her trembling fingers toward her lover’s mask and fumbled with the ear loops, but soon she had loosened the plastic sizing device and was gently—so very, very gently—tugging at the elastic thread. Reports confirmed the excitement then built quickly as, inch by inch, the tight-fitting fabric was peeled down to reveal their naked lower faces. Kirk was heard letting out a soft gasp as he beheld the tip of Solis’s nose for the first time, and sources said the couple soon shook free of their masks completely. After flinging the face coverings aside, the two reportedly stood still for a tantalizing moment, their intense, passionate gazes turning to horror the moment they recognized each other as first cousins.