I confess – dating can be daunting all by itself. Add in the era of COVID and one could ask, is dating even possible? I mean, a date by definition is usually when two people go out somewhere together. A traditional date might be pizza and a movie or dinner and a show or attending a sporting event or a concert together.
But during this time of COVID, there have been no movies or shows nor have there been restaurants open. So what does a date even look like? Plus how would you even meet anyone during those days when everyone was quarantined in their homes, sick or not? Well, I guess the obvious answer is – online – that’s where you could meet someone. Remember – our whole lives moved online into cyberspace overnight as it were.
People no longer worked together (physically that is) nor worshiped together nor ate out together nor played together nor exercised together . . . well you get the idea and you remember how it was. (or still is for some of us)
So did COVID kill dating? Is dating among the COVID casualties? (why do we call them casualties when there is nothing casual about death?) Nonetheless, COVID rules and restrictions must be every parent of teenagers dream come true.
Imagine it if you will. The would be daters have to stay at least six feet apart, no holding hands, hugging or kissing – and they are masked! Remember masks are mandatory. This sets up a socially safe scenario for the daters, which would put any parent’s mind at ease. Of course even with all the restrictions dating would only be possible if there were events to attend or restaurants open for business.
I wasn’t really dating pre-COVID, so imagine my uncertainty when faced with the prospect of going on a date now. Did I say uncertainty? Okay, substitute fear or terror and you have a more accurate description of my mind set. First dates can be awkward enough, you’re not really sure how they will turn out.
Now add to this first encounter, COVID protocols, a new way of behaving, and this could get really uncomfortable fast. Do I maintain six feet of distance at all times? Do I panic if the six foot barrier is breached? Do I leave my mask on or take it off at some point? Is my date smiling or not? Sometimes it’s hard to hear each other. Are these masks sound proof as well as germ proof? (are they germ proof or only COVID proof?)
Oh the agony of the first date, now magnified exponentially by COVID! By now dear readers, you may be wondering about the particulars of the event that allowed this date to take place. Well, it was a movie, but a drive-in movie, so outdoors and possible with proper spacing. (it was an old movie, of course. I don’t think they are making any new ones right now)
Food was prepackaged, catered to our car individually. (it was good) Conversation was great and once fears and phobias were faced down and forced out, it could have been a normal, pre-COVID, first date. And it was. Well except for the masks and other constant reminders that we are living in a COVID dominated time. But one can pretend for an hour or two, can’t one?
And so, dear readers, I have survived my first date in the time of COVID. Definitely preferable to a cyberspace date. Because there is no substitute for the real thing. (post C.C. True Confessions – the real thing #83)
Personal interaction is one of God’s good gifts. He is a very personal God and He created us in His image, made for a personal relationship with Him and for in person, personal relationships with each other. That’s why COVID quarantine and resulting isolation have taken a toll more egregious than we can realize. They take from us God’s good gift of fellowship with each other.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
sincerely, Grace Day