- Singles who are isolating alone are looking for ways to date and have sex during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci told Vanity Fair that singles who want to hookup with a Tinder match could do it, but that it involves a relative risk.
- Fauci said people should weigh the pros and cons of hooking up with the risk of becoming infected and consider that they could be asymptomatic carriers.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Stir-craziness is getting the best of many of us as coronavirus-caused stay-at-home orders continue, but for singles, time in isolation without companionship or sex can feel especially daunting.
Some singles are chatting with others on dating apps and others are participating in virtual sex parties, but neither can replace human contact, and many are craving in-person connections with their physically distant Tinder matches despite the safety risks that come with such an interaction.
To better understand just how risky a hookup with a stranger can be during the pandemic, Vanity Fair reporter Peter Hamby asked Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease and a key advisor in the White House coronavirus task force, his opinion.
“If you’re swiping on a dating app like Tinder, or Bumble, or Grindr, and you match with someone that you think is hot, and you’re just kind of like, ‘Maybe it’s fine if this one stranger comes over.’ What do you say to that person?” Hamby asked Fauci.
“You know, that’s tough,” Fauci said. Mulling it, he gave a diplomatic response, saying that, while it’s possible to carefully plan a hookup during the pandemic, people should recognize that the risks they’re opening themselves — and others — up to.
“[I]t’s what’s called relative risk,” Fauci said. “If you’re willing to take a risk — and you know, everybody has their own tolerance for risks — you could figure out if you want to meet somebody.”
He said it’s probably best to postpone hookups for now if you “don’t want to have any part of this virus.”
For those that are doing everything they can to avoid getting the coronavirus, like maintaining six feet from others, wearing a mask, and regularly washing their hands, it may be incongruous to then go on a date with someone you’ve never met, or don’t live with.
Fauci said there are other things you can do to combat loneliness
If it’s about loneliness, he said, there are safer ways to get the human contact you crave.
“If you’re looking for a friend, sit in a room and put a mask on, and you know, chat a bit. If you want to go a little bit more intimate, well, then that’s your choice regarding a risk,” Fauci said.
On March 21, the New York City Department of Health released guidelines that said residents should abstain from having sex with people outside of their immediate household. The guidelines also said that masturbation is the safest sex act people can participate in during the pandemic.
For those who are willing to risk their health for a hookup, they should first make sure they and the stranger they’re chatting with are both symptom-free, Fauci said.
But even if both of you are healthy, there’s still a chance you could be carriers of the coronavirus.
“Even though there’s a lot of asymptomatic infections, that’s one of the things that’s really troublesome. That if everybody transmitted would only transmit when they’re sick, that would be much easier,” Fauci said.
“But what we’re seeing, which becomes really problematic, is that there’s a considerable amount of transmission from an asymptomatic person. And we’ve got well-documented now, you know, that situation on the nuclear carrier, the Roosevelt, USS Roosevelt, where hundreds of sailors have gotten infected from people that were not sick. That’s tough.”