Love in the time of COVID: Dating apps are thriving
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As the weather gets colder, and COVID-19 infection rates rise, Americans are heading indoors, isolating again and … going online to date.
Some predicted that online dating would take a hit from the pandemic. After all, who wants to risk infection by meeting with strangers?
People like 38-year-old Jen Filz, who started doing the online dating thing for the first time in March, as Milwaukee locked down. “I’m a very social person,” explained Filz. “So it was really hard for me to suddenly go from going out and talking to random people to having absolutely no interaction with anyone.” Filz has joined Hinge, Tinder, Bumble and Facebook Dating.
She’s part of a trend. Dating app usage is growing during the pandemic. According to data company Apptopia, the top 20 apps have gained 1.5 million daily active users this year.
Jonathan Kay, the founder of Apptopia, said it’s not just the big brand names in online dating that are growing. “We’re starting to see like a bunch of niche dating apps pop up as well, which I think are actually taking some market share away from larger players,” he said.
Apps like BLK for Black singles and Chispa for Latinx people.
It is, of course, that time of year known as “cuffing season”: when you wanna be tied to one person, because it’s getting colder, the holidays are approaching, and your nosy aunt is definitely going to ask if you’re dating someone.
But analyst Ali Mogharabi at Morningstar said it’s not just that. “You’ve got singles sitting at home wanting that interaction, a lot of them basically began using online dating apps even more,” Mogharabi said.
There are also signs hookup culture could be waning in the era of COVID-19, with infection a constant concern. Jen Filz of Milwaukee said she’s definitely noticed that “there’s a lot more like, ‘Hey lets try to like Zoom date or whatever else before we actually meet.'”
At least for the time being, her dates are exclusively on Zoom.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?
This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.
Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?
India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.
Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?
As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.
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