How our social lives will look after the pandemic

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One can only imagine how dating, partying and bar life will look after the pandemic.

The bars are already disgusting. God only knows how many viruses were devised between the cocktail of germs and disease on the Phil’s stripper pole.

Dating life is no better. The constant fear of STIs is a strong enough deterrent on it’s own — now we’ve got a viral infection to worry about.

Forget about herpes and syphilis, we’ve got bigger issues on our hands.

But regardless of all the disgust and revolt that comes with having a social life, there are many little intricacies that never will be quite the same.

Sharing a cigarette, buying a round of shots, giving your friend’s dad a handshake regardless of how creepy it is that he tagged along to a Maroon 5 concert – yes, he bought a t-shirt.

It’s not unfair to assume that COVID-19 will change the way people socialize. If not for the direct danger of the virus, the fear of it alone will shatter all pre-existing social practices.

How does a one-night stand work? It’s one thing to ask for someone’s sexual history but requesting a thorough transcript of their whereabouts over the last two weeks might kill the mood.

How does a house party work? Five dollars at the door, two extra for a dollop of antibacterial.

How about romance? It’s hard to enjoy the spontaneity of kissing a date when you’ve got a mask made out of old gym socks suctioned to your face.

What about intimacy? There’s nothing more sensual than the gentle caress of rubber and latex as your sweetheart slowly draws their hand down your cheek, the waxy finish of the glove leaving a burn after catching on a dimple.

Who’d have thought we’d ever be wearing contraceptives on our hands? To think some people can’t even be bothered to wear a condom.

I don’t really have any answers, I wish I did. Trying to juggle a social life and relationship all while battling your own ego is hard enough.

The idea of adding another hurdle to all our preexisting inner-conflicts is almost impossible to accept.

Dr. Stephanie DeWitte-Orr, associate professor in the departments of health sciences and biology, has an interesting take on how bar culture will proceed after restrictions are lifted.

“I would imagine bars will open with the same restrictions as other establishments, requiring social distancing and the wearing of masks. Hand sanitizer and wipes will have to be available. Doesn’t sound like the kind of experience it was before, “ said DeWitte-Orr.

Obviously, this is less than ideal and will be difficult to enforce. It’s hard to imagine a club full of inebriated university students abiding by rigorous safety protocols such as masks and gloves.

But for all the catfishes out there with nice eyes, you might finally have your chance.

As for dating, Dr. DeWitte-Orr has a rather optimistic perspective.

“The safest way to date right now is virtually, online. It is possible that ‘bubbles’ may be an option, where you can choose who outside your home you can connect with.”

“Perhaps after connecting virtually, one may choose to include a new partner within their bubble,” DeWitte-Orr suggested.

As group restrictions begin to increase, slowly introducing a romantic interest into your social circle is a relatively safe way to go about dating.

Sure, watching Space Jam together in your parent’s garage isn’t the classiest of first dates but it sure beats grainy webcam chats.

All we know for sure is that without a vaccine, our social lives will no longer be the same. Sure, maybe things go back to normal eventually but for now this our reality.

And it really isn’t that difficult to make work. With some cooperation and a little willingness to compromise, engaging in a functional social life no longer seems so daunting.

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