It’s weird times. COVID-19, more commonly referred to as coronavirus, has us all completely shook. We’re staying indoors, keeping our distance from others, and, for the singles, not getting any in the meantime. What’s a girl to do in the age of social distancing? Can you date during coronavirus? And, if so, how? And, what about sex?
We chatted with Shuhan He, MD, a physician at Harvard Emergency Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and founder of Conductscience.com, and got you your answers to your common questions about coronavirus and your dating life.
I’m Single and Looking. Should I Stop Going on Dates?
Probably, but it depends on where those first dates are. Is it a Skype date? Do you plan on screaming at your date from across a meadow? No? Really set on having a drink at a local bar? Then you should hold off.
Why? The CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other health outlets very clearly state you should be practicing social distancing. Social distancing means avoiding public areas and staying at least three to six feet away from strangers. Or, better yet, staying home.
Bars, restaurants, and other typical first date spots have closed in many cities. And, if they haven’t yet, we recommend you stay home anyway to help stop the spread of the virus.
Why Can’t I Go On a Date During Coronavirus? I Don’t Have Symptoms.
He explains. “There is something called R0, as anyone who has watched the movie Pandemic understands. R0 is how fast a virus transmits. R0 of coronavirus can be as high as 4 when everyone moves quickly, meaning that everyone in the country would get it within the span of a few weeks. If we socially distance, R0 drops to 1 or lower, meaning that the transmission is much slower.”
Plus, as scientists suspect that the virus is now being passed by asymptomatic carriers and that it may take up to 14 days for you to see symptoms… going on an in-person first date may put you or your date at risk.
If you’ve really been looking forward to meeting up with that hot firefighter you’ve been chatting with on Hinge, FaceTiming might be a great alternative option that feels more elevated than just texting. Get dressed up and pour yourself a glass of wine and hang out… virtually.
There’s nothing quite like living in an episode of Black Mirror!
Should My Partner and I Quarantine Ourselves Together?
“I think it depends on their risk factors,” says He. “When one person in the couple is sick, then they should try to avoid each other and live in separate areas as much as possible.”
As for what stage of your relationship is appropriate to quarantine together, it’s really a personal decision for what feels right for you and your partner. Does the thought of being stuck in an apartment together make you giddy or want to die? There’s your answer.
Also, if you hold in your poop until you go home on each date, how are you two gonna share a bathroom for two weeks? These are crucial things to consider.
If you’re going to be stuck at home all day, might as well take the opportunity to get your freak on while watching Contagion. Just don’t get a UTI. Nurses can’t handle you being that person right now.
I Think I Might Have Coronavirus. What Should My Partner Do?
Well, stay away from you, for one.
He or she should also self-quarantine, since chances are they had a lot of close contact with you before you realized you had it and they may be a carrier.
But, He says, “It’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean emotional isolation. Things like virtual hangouts are really important during a time like this so we feel connected and supported with each other.”
If you guys live together, do your best to separate. Maybe you take over the bedroom while your partner takes over the living room. A week of starfish sleeping, eating chips in bed, and farting into oblivion? Sounds divine.
How Can We Manage the Stress of This Together?
“I think couples should talk freely and openly,” says He. “My friend Lisa put together an amazing guide for housemates to talk about the rules for the house in the time of pandemic. These guidelines still apply for couples!”
— Shuhan He (@ShuhanHeMD) March 16, 2020
Getting through this pandemic as a couple really comes down to communication. You’re going to learn a lot about how they handle stress during this time. If you’re partner is feeling stressed, listen to what’s causing your partner’s anxiety and try to figure out tangible solutions to mitigate his or her stress.
Offer a massage or draw a bath to help your stressed out partner relax, clean the house, or play a game to help your partner practice healthy distraction.
You could also just eat Swedish Fish. Swedish Fish make everything nice.
Pro-tip for couples suddenly working from home together: Get yourselves an imaginary coworker to blame things on. In our apartment, Cheryl keeps leaving her dirty water cups all over the place and we really don't know what to do about her.
— Molly Tolsky (@mollytolsky) March 16, 2020
Can I Have Sex?
Again, it depends.
“Physical contact is important in any healthy relationship, but I do recommend abstaining if people have symptoms,” He says.
As for casual sex or new partners, those are probably off the table for now as it’s likely going to be a while until you see them again in person. I know, bummer. Consider investing in a dope vibrator in the meantime.
Also, remember, this is temporary.
If you’re single, welcome the time alone to work on yourself so you can be an even better version of you when you’re ready to hit the dating scene again. If you’re coupled up, use this time together to work on your relationship and make it stronger.
It’s not all dark and dim; when else do you get multiple weeks to slow down, spend more time at home, and take a damn breath? If anything, this is forced time to work on the things that matter most in life: our relationships to ourselves and others. Also our glutes. With all this time to do squats, my relationship to my ass cheeks has never been better!
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