As if the coronavirus making people ill and killing others isn't bad enough, it's also making people lonelier, a new study finds.

The study, which was conducted by KinkD dating app after an unusual increase in registrations after Valentine's Day, found that 25.6 percent of the 1,456 survey respondents reported that they were motivated to join the kinky dating app because of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to John Martinuk, the app's co-founder, they included "outbreak of novel coronavirus" as an option for joining the app in the questionnaire because "the spread of this disease is inching closer toward meeting the definition of a global pandemic," which, he said, is scaring people and causing them to limit social contact, making people anxious and lonely.

"In other words," Martinuk continued, "to some extent, the novel coronavirus outbreak has boosted dating app usage."

As surprising as it might seem initially, it makes sense! Because of this, though, while dating app usage is increasing, actual meetups and first dates from these connections are likely few and far between at this time. I mean, the reason people are reportedly lonely is because of the fear of going out while COVID-19 is spreading everywhere.

So, I'd be pretty surprised to hear that people are actually pursuing the matches they're talking to while in self-quarantine. I mean, seriously, can you imagine if you showed up to the date and any of the following happened?

1. Your date is apparently sick (i.e. sniffling, coughing, sneezing, etc.).

2. They keep touching their face and mouth.

3. They only talk about work and their coworkers are all ill.

4. They manhandle the bread at dinner.

5. They speak with their mouth full and spit everywhere.

6. They dig into your food with their fork while you're still eating it.

7. They blow their nose into their napkin and then try to hold your hand.

These are normally not pleasant even when COVID-19 isn't involved, so add that to the mix and YIKES. Follow any and all of those situations with, say, a first kiss and BOOM! Game over, hypochondriacs.

All I'm saying is let's play it safe and cover a few extra bases before going out on a first date. Do some pre-screening, perhaps. You stalk their social media for physical safety checks (hopefully), you might as well do some health safety checks while you're at it as well.

  • Casually ask them about their recent travels. (A normal question!)
  • Ask them how they're doing/feeling. (This is kind! You should do this anyway!)
All jokes aside, I know we're going to be A-OK. But that doesn't mean I want your germs, so just be a normal, well-mannered human-being on first dates, ladies and gents. We'll be OK, loneliness and all.
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