It’s best to first meet online or outside before you “take the plunge" into a new relationship in the time of COVID-19, says provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Henry offered the advice Thursday (June 25) during B.C.'s daily COVID-19 briefing, in response to a reporter question about “summer loving" – safely – for those not currently in relationships. The question comes as people begin to expand their social circles, and follows Premier John Horgan's announcement Wednesday that B.C. is entering Phase 3 of reopening.
“Oh dear, these are the kissing questions again,” Henry said, chuckling.
She was previously asked about dating and new relationships in May, when she said that a pandemic is not the time for rapid, serial dating. Rather, she said at the time, people should "pick somebody, see if it works, and then take (their) time."
Henry said Thursday that there’s “lots of things” singles need to take into account due to COVID-19 – such as their own personal risk and the risk of those they are closest to.
“It really depends on our own personal circumstances,” she said.
“So yes, go outside, meet outside. Decide whether this is somebody that you want to include into your bubble, into your space.”
However, Henry cautioned – as she has throughout B.C.’s phased reopening – that people should be wary, and understand that they will bring their connections home with them, meaning that, if you live with others who may be at risk, you will also be exposing them.
“If you’re somebody who’s single and doesn’t have a lot of other people who may be at risk that you’re having contact with, then you can think about this in a different way, perhaps,” said Henry.
“We can’t stop it being summer, and love still happens in the time of COVID.”
Ultimately, said Henry, people will need to make their own decisions, adding that it’s a “time to start online, start meeting outside, before you take the plunge.”
Health officials announced 20 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the B.C.’s total to 2,869.