How the pandemic is reshaping the way we date
Many single Chicagoans took a hiatus from dating when the pandemic hit in mid-March, anticipating a return to the status quo in a matter of weeks. Weeks turned into months, shifting what’s considered normal in how people meet and date. Video calls on Bumble are up 70%, and people are having longer messaging conversations on Tinder, according to representatives from each app.
Zoom calls, socially distanced picnics and straying from “hook-up culture” characterize dating in a pandemic. Some of these shifts, experts argue, are here to stay.
Alexandra Solomon — a relationship therapist and professor at Northwestern University — said even before the pandemic, many people were critical of sex-driven relationships, where emotional connections take lower priority.
“The pandemic has flipped the switch,” Solomon said. “Long term, the pendulum may swing back, with more friendship and mutual caretaking that happens earlier, and sex gets pushed a bit later.”
Read the full story from Clare Proctor here.
10:18 a.m. State unemployment extended as claims remain historically high
The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday that 20 weeks of state extended benefits are available to those who exhaust the allotted 26 weeks of regular state unemployment and the additional 13 weeks of federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.
IDES encouraged those with unemployment questions to visit IDES.Illinois.gov first before calling the unemployment hotlines, which continue to receive a high volume of calls.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that there were 24,712 first time unemployment claims filed in Illinois during the week ending Aug. 1, a decrease of more than 8,500 from the previous week.
The number of continued unemployment claims in the state remained historically high at 629,814 despite a decrease of nearly 19,000 from the previous week.
Read the full report here.
8:06 a.m. Loyola University Chicago closes all dorms for fall semester due to COVID-19
No Loyola University Chicago students will live in on-campus housing this fall, the university announced Thursday.
Citing COVID-19 health conditions and future uncertainty, the university announced the decision to close all residence halls for the upcoming semester, according to an email sent to the school community. The school had previously planned to put all on-campus students in single dorm rooms, with some living in the nearby Hampton Inn to allow for social distancing.
“We simply cannot put our on-campus residential students in harm’s way and risk further disruption to them and their families if they needed to move home mid-semester because of an outbreak in one of our residence halls or as a result of the state and city reverting back to Phase 3,” Thursday’s email read.
Read the full story by Clare Proctor here.
- Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests negative for virus after earlier positive test.
- Public health officials announced Illinois’ largest coronavirus caseload in over 10 weeks on Thursday, with 1,953 more people testing positive for COVID-19 across the state.
- Gov. J.B. Pritzker reported coronavirus testing positivity rates of 7.3% and 7.4% over the last week in the Metro East and southern Illinois regions, including an 8% rate in Jackson County. In Chicago, the seven-day positivity rate was at 4.9%, and 5.8% in suburban Cook County.
- The number of confirmed infections in the U.S. has topped 4.7 million, with new cases running at over 60,000 a day. While that’s down from a peak of well over 70,000 in the second half of July, cases are rising in 26 states, many in the South and West, and deaths are climbing in 35 states
Analysis & Commentary
8:07 a.m. Men have long shunned protective gear
Albert G. Spalding was a fine specimen of a man: 6-foot-1 with dark hair and a thick mustache. He was also a heck of a pitcher: 47 wins, 12 losses for the Chicago White Stockings in 1876.
That’s a lot of games. Most teams only had one pitcher. Unsurprisingly, Spalding’s hands were beat up with “severe bruises.”
So Spalding noticed that Boston first baseman, Charles C. Waite. wore something on his hand — a leather glove that matched his skin tone because he was “ashamed to wear it” and hoped fans wouldn’t notice. Men were aghast at the idea of protective equipment. In his 1911 book on baseball, Spalding notes the first catcher’s mask was ridiculed as “babyish” and “cowardly.”
Spurning personal protective equipment didn’t begin with COVID-19. When you look at the history of PPE, the current uproar over wearing cotton face masks is simple to understand: it’s a guy thing.
Read the full column by Neil Steinberg here.