Can I date safely during COVID-19?
Searches surrounding sexual health increase around this time of year, so we wanted to answer some of your frequently asked questions that may be particularly relevant this week AND year round.
As the world grapples with the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19, people have had to make adjustments to their day to day life. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we are highlighting how folks can safely date during COVID-19.
First off, can you safely date during COVID-19?
Answer: YES, you can! Now, more than ever, we need to appreciate living in the internet age. Popular dating apps such as Tinder, Hinge and Bumble have made it possible to connect with potential partners from the comfort of your couch. Both Tinder and Hinge have updated their platforms during the pandemic, allowing users to participate in video calls with successful matches. Other virtual ideas include Zoom dinner dates or Netflix Party hangouts. You and an interested partner can make food together, watch movies and chat without ever meeting in person.
However, if you are tired of swiping and virtual dating there are ways to safely date in-person. Try suggesting outdoor activities, as enclosed spaces significantly increase your risk of COVID-19 exposure, even when you’re 6 feet apart. In contrast, the risk of transmission outdoors is much lower, particularly if you’re both wearing masks. You can grab coffee and go for a walk. Or, if you and your date are looking for an adventure, try hiking, ice skating or skiing, or going to the beach! In many metropolitan areas, restaurants and bars have implemented outdoor dining options, but be careful that their outdoor dining area isn’t a de facto indoor dining area, just colder and set up in a parking lot or on the sidewalk. If it has four walls and a ceiling, you’re inside as far as the virus is concerned, even if those ‘walls’ are just plastic sheeting.
If you decide to date during the pandemic, it is important to engage in honest conversations regarding social distancing and testing. Think of your COVID conversations as not so different from your safe sex conversations, with mutually agreed upon expectations in advance. Remember to wear a mask and stay safe!
You can check out the NWHN’s COVID-19 Resource Page for up to date health information on the virus.
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