The figurehead is not only non-functioning, it is actively sabotaging productive work. The situation is like the Red Cross trying to deliver food and medical supplies and having local warlords steal or destroy it.
About romance in the time of “cholera,” I have a friend of a friend who is doing a lot of Facetime dating. I think this went really well because of the way that videoconferencing removed sex from the equation. Then they met in person, she got drunk and acted foolishly, and things went south.