NYT: Making out with a stranger after you’re vaccinated still safer than going to a club
29th March 2021

Now that people are getting vaccinated, we’re anxious to get back to what we took for granted pre-pandemic. That includes things like eating out, going to concerts and of course dating. The New York Times has a brief article about what we can do once we’re personally vaccinated and once more of the population is vaccinated. Since we can’t count on everyone in a small space to be vaccinated, experts say it’s actually safer to make out with a stranger than it will be to go to a crowded club or party where proof of immunization is not required. That’s a bummer. There’s good news though. You’ve probably heard that small gatherings of vaccinated people are considered safe. Outdoor bars and concerts with people in masks are also relatively safe. So it’s a mixed bag.

“If the older and younger adults get vaccines, and the variants are not too variant, then we could have lots of pool parties,” he said. “Bars could open up.”

“The movement back to normal life should be a slow step-by-step,” said Tara Kirk Sell, a senior associate at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, who researches large-scale health events. She recommended that people pick out one riskier activity they’ve been craving during the pandemic — seeing friends, going out to eat — and do that to celebrate their vaccination. “Then it should be a gradual move forward, rather than this huge explosion of, ‘I’m free!’,” she said.

Experts interviewed for this piece said that kissing and other intimate contact with someone you don’t know once you’ve been vaccinated is likely to be safe as long as you can confirm that they are also vaccinated.

Even without that confirmation, making out with a stranger is likely to be a lower risk activity than going into a crowded setting like a club or party, said Dr. David Rubin, a professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s one of those events best left to the individual person, to make that choice and not judge it,” he said.

“If you’re in a controlled setting and you’re just with that person, and you want to take a chance on making out with that person and you think that person doesn’t have any risk of getting bad Covid — from the C.D.C. guidance, you can go ahead and make out with that person all you want,” said Dr. Chin-Hong.

If you’re vaccinated but can’t confirm the vaccination or medical status of the person you want to kiss, it will be OK for most young people, he said.

[From The NY Times]

This all really depends on community rates and if the variants are spreading. The article goes on to say if there are less than 10 cases per 100,000 it’s relatively safe to gather indoors if you’re vaccinated. In Miami right now there are 22 cases per 100,000 and some are thought to be the British variant that’s deadlier and easier to catch. We already know Spring Breakers shouldn’t be gathering maskless but that makes it worse.

I’m sad that I won’t be able to go to small parties for a while because honestly I don’t trust all the people I was hanging out with to get vaccinated. I will probably do some outdoor group activities once I’m fully vaccinated again. While I expected to hear that tight enclosed spaces won’t be safe for a while, I’m still disappointed. I miss going to the movies and I won’t feel comfortable doing that for months. I really wanted to go back to the gym and to fitness classes but I know I won’t feel safe there either. It’s like you’re making out with everyone breathing in that small space, which is why it’s safer to pick one person and make out with them. This makes me feel like I want to party and laugh with people more than I want to just get laid, but I’ll take that. I’ve been starved of both.

Photos credit: Sarandy Westfall, Thought Catalog on Unsplash, Anna Tarazevich on Pexels

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