Couples and Dating (Photo Credit: Instagram)
Coronavirus pandemic has forced people to go in seclusion and disrupted businesses globally but it has not been able to drag the spirit down of people looking for their soulmates.
About every nine of ten people globally are willing to venture out during the outbreak for a date, according to dating platform OKCupid. In India, about three-fourths of respondents said they would go out on a date despite the virus outbreak.
An increasing number of millenials are turning to digital platforms like Tinder, OKCupid and Bumble to find friends and even life partners. While these platforms have been built on the foundation of matching people on various parameters, coronavirus outbreak is forcing a sort of social separation as people stay away from places like malls and cinema theatres.
According to OKCupid, about 74 per cent respondents in India said they are willing to go out on dates during the coronavirus outbreak. While this is much lower than the global average of 88 per cent, it is higher than Italy where only 45 per cent respondents said they were willing to go out for a date.
Italy is among the worst-affected by coronavirus with over 1,000 deaths reported in the country.
About 77 per cent respondents in Japan, 71 per cent in South Korea and 97 per cent in Croatia aren't averse to leaving their homes to find romance during the coronavirus outbreak. OKCupid said these are evolving numbers as the situation unfolds globally.
The number of coronavirus patients in India has risen to 75, as per health ministry records. State governments in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have taken a number of steps, including closure of educational institutions and even cinema halls to contain the spread of coronavirus infection.
The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has said in-restaurant dining is seeing a big impact in the past few days, reporting an approximate business drop of 30-35 per cent with restaurants located within mall premises recording a sharper drop.
More than 1,30,000 cases of the novel coronavirus have been recorded in 116 countries and territories, killing at least 4,900 people.
Tinder users are being greeted with an in-app card offering tips on staying safe during the outbreak. 'Wash your hands frequently', 'Carry hand sanitiser', 'Avoid touching your face' and 'Maintain social distance in public gatherings' are some of the tips offered to users.
Interestingly, Bumble - another popular dating app that counts actor Priyanka Chopra as an investor - said its platform can provide a great outlet for those who may be concerned with meeting people in person.
"... a pandemic could trigger loneliness and isolationism, and Bumble is one way to stay connected to real people without having to meet in the physical world," a Bumble spokesperson said adding that the platform has features like voice calls and video chat that allow for a "deeper connection" without having to meet in public, or share phone number or email IDs.