Dating apps are helping users to prevent the spread of coronavirus

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Aiden Wynn
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Dating in the time of Coronavirus

Dating apps are encouraging users to date safely during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Dating apps such as OkCupid and Tinder have been advising their users on how to date safely and hygienically, so they don’t pass on or contract Covid-19. The disease has recently been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, as the number of people infected continues to rise at an alarming rate.

In the UK, the number of patients diagnosed with coronavirus rose by 87 on Wednesday, taking the total up to 460 – the biggest jump in a 24 hour period. As it stands there have been eight fatalities in the UK, mostly those who were older or had other underlying health conditions. 

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To help prevent the spread from getting out of hand, Tinder has been displaying a warning screen. The screen lets users of the app know that while having fun is important, “protecting yourself from the coronavirus is more important”.

But users are yet to be deterred. In research carried out by OkCupid, 93% of UK daters said they plan to carry on dating as normal and meeting people in real life. So Tinder has issued some advice to keep these meetings as risk-free as possible.  

The advice includes washing hands regularly, carrying hand sanitiser, avoiding touching your face and keeping your distance from people in a public space. This echoes the official advice issued by the NHS

Tinder users have commented on the app’s approach on Twitter, with some praising the app for looking out for its users. 

But others seemed less happy to be reminded about the virus on yet another platform. 

OkCupid chose to take a different tack. Rather than issuing advice, the app sent a push notification to its users to ask them about their take on the coronavirus. Questions like “Does coronavirus affect your dating life?” and “Are you willing to go out on dates during the coronavirus outbreak?” are intended to help users connect with people who are comfortable with one another’s stance on dating in the midst of the pandemic. 

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