OPW - Aug 7 - How should online dating companies continue to meet the needs of their users while promoting safe behaviors? This is the 5th IDEA Webinar. The United States and Europe are experiencing a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic, which may last well into the new year. In this special IDEA webinar, Mark Brooks discusses the influence of the ongoing pandemic with Geoff Cook, CEO of the Meet Group, along with the members of the group's Safe Dating Advisory Board. Epidemiologists, Dr. Melissa Sharp and Dr. Tali Elfassy, along with infectious disease expert, Dr. Anu Hazra, provide science-based suggestions for addressing the risks of coronavirus in online dating.
Key recommendations include:
- Encourage the use of video and chat to thoroughly evaluate matches prior to meeting in-person, and replacing in-person first dates with video dates · Users should discuss risk factors, such as potential exposures, living situation, and work-related risks, prior to meeting in-person
- Promote the use of masks, social distancing, and other preventative measures to reduce exposure risks · If an in-person date is to occur, be creative and choose activities that are outdoors and allow for social distancing, limit indoor activities and high-exposure risk locations
- Discourage users from relying on test results posted by other members as proof of safety, these tests may be unreliable, outdated, or may never have been done
- Social interactions and dating are an integral part of society, but it is important to adhere to local governmental guidance and supplied information
- When in doubt, err on the side of caution.
~ Dr. Anirrudha Hazra, an internal medicine and infectious diseases physician certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
~ Dr. Tali Elfassy, an epidemiologist and Research Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
~ Dr. Melissa Sharp, an epidemiologist and postdoctoral fellow at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland with expertise in meta-research and observational mixed-methods research.
~ Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group.