Grindr issues coronavirus warning to users as hook-ups thrive during pandemic
Grindr and other gay dating apps have begun issuing alerts to users with guidance about the risks of coronavirus.
Several European countries seeking to minimise the spread of COVID-19 have called on people to stay home as part of “social distancing” efforts.
But while public events have been cancelled across many affected countries, hook-up apps remain open for business.
Are Grindr hook-ups still a good idea?
Needlessly to say, people who are in self-isolation – whether because of suspected coronavirus symptoms, contact with an infected person, or travel to a high-risk area – should definitely not be hooking up with anyone until after the isolation period.
However, dating apps and public health authorities have stopped short of calling on the public at large to hold off on hook-ups.
COVID-19 itself is not sexually transmitted, but it can be spread through kissing as well as through coughing and sneezing – meaning that there is some risk of transmission if you hook up with someone who has coronavirus.
Grindr did not respond to a request for comment, but an alert sent to users in the UK on Thursday, seen by PinkNews, advises people to “listen to your body and stay home” if they feel sick.
It also reiterates public health guidance encouraging people to wash their hands, use hand sanitiser and avoid touching faces – with the latter instruction likely making hook-ups a bit more of a challenge.
The alert directs people to WHO guidance, which states: “Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.
“Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.”
Scruff and Hornet have also issued coronavirus warnings
Rival app Scruff has also issued an alert to users.
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It warns: “Your wellbeing is important to us. The health and safety of the community is our priority.
“Here are some steps from the World Health Organization you can take to protect yourself from the new Coronavirus (COVID-19): Wash your hands frequently. Maintain distance between yourself and those who are coughing or sneezing.
“Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.”
Hornet, another gay dating app, has taken a more conservative approach – warning users that it may be best to “maintain a social network, but remotely.” It adds: “Social contact helps us stay mentally healthy and fights boredom.”