It seems a lifetime ago that we were sitting across from a date, nervously sipping our gin and tonics as they made awkward small talk. Allowing ourselves to think about the future has been an unreliable and rather futile activity since the coronavirus pandemic began. Nonetheless, OkCupid has thrown caution to the wind and made a prediction for when it believes will be the biggest dating day of 2021 in the UK. According to the dating app, Aug. 1 will be "the hottest day for dating in 2021," after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to offer all UK adults the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 31. At the time of writing, 17.7 million people had received the first dose of the vaccine in the UK, and over 620,000 had received their second dose.
As politicians play whack-a-mole with COVID-19 infection rates and try to balance the economic damage caused by lockdowns, stay-at-home orders have also impacted those out there in the dating scene. No longer able to meet up for a drink, a coffee, or now even a walk in the park, organizing an encounter with anyone other than your household or support bubble is banned and can result in a fine in the United Kingdom -- and this includes both dates and overnight stays. Therefore, the only feasible option available is online connections, by way of social networks or dating apps. Dating is hard enough at the best of times but sexual desire doesn't disappear just because you are cooped up at home. Realizing this, a number of healthcare organizations worldwide have urged us not to contribute to the spread of COVID-19 by meeting up with others for discreet sex outside of our social bubbles, bringing new meaning to the phrase, "You are your safest sex partner."
Trying to find love as the world ends? That premise is central to Tinder's interactive Swipe Night event, which launches in the UK and around the world on Sept. 12 at 10am. If you're unfamiliar with Swipe Night, then here's a lil catch up: Swipe Night is a first-person choose-your-own-adventure style event where Tinder users can swipe at key moments to determine the direction of the story within the app. Swiping doesn't just affect how the story ends -- it also has a bearing on who users match with and what they end up chatting about. As for the storyline, well, it couldn't be more pertinent to the times we're living in.
TV makes meeting people look much too easy. No one expects to live across the hall from their soulmates like Monica and Chandler or to find love at their small town office job like Jim and Pam. Between success stories from Love Island and going on first dates via video calls to get around a pandemic, the rules for finding love have officially gone right out the window. Online dating is hardly a novel way to meet people and is an increasingly popular topic of study. If you're still doubting the possibility of finding love online, consider this study cited in the MIT Technology Review that found that compatibility was greater in partners who had met online.
Though society has outgrown most cliché tropes that surrounded online dating in its early years, believing that meeting online can grow into a genuine connection can still be hard. If any dating sites can rekindle your hope that there's someone out there who wants the same thing you do, Match and eharmony are it. Technically speaking, online dating amplifies your selection of potential love interests to people you would never have stumbled upon IRL. It's the obvious next step after you've exhausted the qualified singles in your local dating pool, and the pandemic has made online dating an even more ubiquitous way to meet people than it already was. Since social distancing has essentially made hookups with strangers a non-issue, weeding out people who aren't taking dating seriously is easier than ever.
Online dating giants are set to offer digital health passports to millions of UK singletons to prove they are free of coronavirus. Manchester-based cyber firm VST Enterprises (VSTE), is pioneering technology which it says can be used to safeguard daters when coronavirus restrictions are eased. The company says it has been approached for its digital health passports by several leading dating app companies. Tinder and Grindr are believed to be two of the dating apps that are waiting to launch them. The technology, called'VCode', would enable a doctor or nurse to upload the results of a government-approved Covid-19 test to the digital health passport.
Syphilis might be more commonly associated with centuries past. But it's been on the rise for the past decade in England, with more cases last year than in any year since 1949. The disease was, in effect, eradicated in the UK in the mid-80s only to re-emerge around 1999. BBC Reality Check wanted to know why this ancient disease is rearing its head in England in the 21st Century. Syphilis is a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics.
Dating apps such as Tinder are increasing people's risk of catching a cancer-causing virus passed on through oral sex, dentists warn. Experts say almost half of adults will be infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV) at some point in their life. And while most infections disappear on their own, without even displaying symptoms, some strains can lead to cancer, notably cervical, which in around 90 per cent of cases is caused by HPV. It is also linked to penile, anal, throat, head and neck cancer, as well as genital warts. Hollywood actor Michael Douglas, 72, blamed oral sex for giving him throat cancer in 2010.