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    If You’re Waiting For COVID To End To Date, You Might Be Waiting A Long Time

    "They are concerned and they’re cautious, but they’re sick of having to be and they want to live their lives."

    On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed dating in the time of the Delta variant. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!

    Listen on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts. You can also find BuzzFeed Daily wherever else you might listen to your favorite podcasts!

    So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to reporter Anna Iovine about how the Delta variant of COVID-19 threw a wrench in what people thought were their post-pandemic dating lives. Here's some of what we learned:

    BuzzFeed Daily: Based on the people you spoke to, how would you describe the level of concern among single people dating right now? Are they tired of being so careful, and therefore easing up a little bit, or has Delta made them regress back to a more heightened state of caution?

    Photo of two people wearing face masks kissing
    Professionalstudioimages / Getty Images

    Anna Iovine: Honestly, all of the above. There is a solid amount of concern, absolutely, but there's a mix of emotion. People are concerned. They're uncertain. They're frustrated, especially Americans I spoke to who are vaccinated because they "did everything right." They've been wearing masks throughout these last 18 months and they still are. So they are concerned and they're cautious, but they're sick of having to be and they want to live their lives. They want to date. And I'm seeing that also with the Europeans and the Australians I spoke to, where they are cautious still, but they don't want to be anymore. And they're also frustrated about the vaccine rollout in their country. So there's there's a definite mix of emotions happening.

    BuzzFeed News: Is it even possible to feel safe kissing or making out amid the Delta variant?

    @fullerhouse / GIPHY / Via giphy.com

    AI: It really depends on the person. If you realize that there is a non-zero risk, even if you're vaccinated and that you're fine with that, then you can definitely feel safe kissing and physically connecting with someone. But if you want a zero risk of COVID, you might be waiting a long time to experience that.

    BuzzFeed News: What if someone has gotten through the online part of online dating and actually goes about setting something up with someone in person? What's the expert advice on how to navigate the dating scene right now, just in general?

    @CallMeKatFOX / Via giphy.com

    AI: I think the most important thing is to set boundaries — to talk about what you're looking for, talk about what you're comfortable with and what you're not. One person I spoke to went on a date with someone who wanted to kiss down in Australia. And because he's not fully vaccinated yet, he didn't want to. And it was really awkward and sort of ended things. So those conversations are probably best before the kiss is going to happen, before you meet in person. If they don't respect your boundaries or they say you're being too concerned, then they're not the person for you. But other than that, I would say to stay as informed as possible. Obviously, there's still a lot of things we don't know, that no one knows. And because of that, I would try to not over-consume news either, which I know is a very difficult thing to do. But if you read one piece about the Delta variant in one day, there's probably not going to be an explosive revelation that same day. So I would try to mitigate your news consumption while being informed and let your matches know what you're comfortable with.

    In case you needed another reason to love Joshua Jackson, he recently defended his wife Jodie Turner-Smith from online trolls.

    David M. Benett / Getty Images

    In July, Joshua revealed in an interview that Jodie was the one to propose to him. It sounds like a lovely moment, and naturally people had to try to ruin it by leaving “racist and misogynist" comments on her Instagram. Joshua later clarified to Refinery29 that while he accepted the proposal, he wanted the chance to ask her biological father and stepdad for her hand in marriage so he could propose as well. And to the trolls, Joshua had this to say: “For anybody who is freaked out by a woman claiming her own space, shut the fuck up.”

    Moving on, Iggy Azalea recently shared some thoughts about mental health and the music industry.

    Photo of Iggy Azalea in a black turtleneck and black leather jacket
    Jason Mendez / Getty Images

    She tweeted: “I REALLY WISH record labels would all agree to make it mandatory to hire at least ONE psychologist per label. Almost EVERY artist in recent times has expressed struggling with the level of hate & pressure. Sports teams do it for their athletes, why not music labels?"

    As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just want to say hi, you can reach us at daily@buzzfeed.com or on Twitter @BuzzFeedDaily.

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