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B.C.’s top doctor gives dating advice, how to ‘keep our germs to ourselves’ amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s dating and sex advice during coronavirus outbreak
Speaking to reporters at her daily COVID-19 briefing, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers a reporter’s question about advice on sex and dating during the pandemic. Henry offers tips for making connections and safety precautions people should take.

As British Columbians face the prospect of slowly expanding their social circles, B.C.’s provincial health officer is urging the public to be extra cautious when it comes to dating and romance.

While spring may be a time when, to paraphrase Alfred, Lord Tennyson, a person’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, Dr. Bonnie Henry wants to remind us that the novel coronavirus is a respiratory virus that can be shared through intimate contact.

Dating tips, advice for those practicing social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic
Dating tips, advice for those practicing social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic

Henry said love in the time of COVID-19 means taking things slowly and with one person at a time.

READ MORE: As B.C. flattens curve, think carefully about expanding social circle: Henry

“This is not the time to do rapid serial dating, OK?” Henry said Tuesday. “So pick somebody, see if it works and then take your time.”

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Henry reminded the public that bringing someone into your circle means that you’re effectively bringing that person’s contacts into your circle as well.

Online dating during the COVID-19 pandemic
Online dating during the COVID-19 pandemic

Henry noted that the novel coronavirus pandemic can be a lonely time for people, many of whom have looked to connect with others online.

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Henry urged caution when making the transition from online conversations to face-to-face interactions.

“I’m laughing a little bit because I’m thinking of some of the young people in my life who were concerned about missing some of the occasions that they might meet others,” she said.

“Yeah, we can do that. We have to do that. We’re social people. We need that. But let’s do it in small, thoughtful ways.”

The province’s road map to reopening the economy does not include plans to reopen bars and nightclubs anytime soon, which Henry says could lead to new ways to socialize.

READ MORE: ‘You can still date online’: How to maintain relationships during the coronavirus outbreak

“One of the people that I know in my life remarked to me that, ‘You know, now that we can’t go to bars and clubs and things, going out to the park and sitting at a distance and having picnics, those are the new romantic things people are doing.'”

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Henry adds there is no room for socializing if you’re not feeling well.

“If we’re feeling the least bit ill or if we’ve been in contact with somebody who’s ill, then we need to keep our distance and keep our germs to ourselves for a while.”