Dear Dr. G,
I just got out of a 10-day isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. How do I explain to potential hook-ups that I am now officially 100% COVID-free?
Yes, you are correct that you now have a clean bill of health for COVID, not just at this time but for the entire rest of the semester. It may be vexing to you that any possible future hookup may be wary of your lack of testing and presence of antibodies. So, the challenge presents itself; how can you deal with the understandably COVID-wary Tinder match you’ve always thought was hot but only just matched with while quarantined in Alumni House?
First, this is a fantastic opportunity to spread some community COVID-knowledge. After all, this is a Highly Selective Liberal Arts College, so the only thing that spreads faster than COVID is education (“aNd gOssIP” don’t you think I already know that? Come on now, education comes in many forms)! You can start by using this link, to a guide on how soon you can be around others after having COVID. Specifically, you can turn the website into a QR-code and add it to your Tinder/Grindr/Bumble account. Not only is it oh-so mysterious and eye-catching to have a strange link on your dating profile, it shows potential partners that you are tech-savvy and could probably help them cheat on the coding assignment they didn’t know would be a part of their Cognitive Science course. Plus, if you’re really lucky, you’ll be tagged as a bot and permanently banned from the app, saving you from the awkwardness of matching with your boss next week and being unsure if it was just a friend-swipe or what. If you seriously want to commit to the bit, you could even send it to the post office as a print job, or get stickers made in the Vassar Innovation Lab, I’m sure they’d love spending their actual paid time helping you get laid.
If you’d rather leave the Care-fronting to the CCT, then you can start figuring out ways to show your potential partner that you aren’t a health risk. Vassar has provided us a wonderful new tool, the CoVerified app, and in addition to being useful to check eligibility for athletics, you can start flashing your badge to your friend with benefits before entering their room. We might as well put the little “CLEARED” message to use since more than half the student body has no use for them on a day-to-day basis. Next, you could send them screenshots that you completed the New York State Contact Tracing Automated Text System for ten days, verifying that you’ve cleared your infection. Better yet, call Health Services on campus and ask for some proof that you won’t be spreading any (respiratory) diseases by linking up (ask for Bridget). On that note, you could get tested. Not for COVID, that would come back positive, but for STI’s! When was the last time you got tested? You have been so caught up in the sweet joys of a plastic swab assaulting your nasopharynx that you forgot about the simple pleasures of getting light-headed while the Baldwin nurse draws your blood because you are irrationally certain you have chlamydia. Presenting a clean bill of sexually-transmitted health will show your partner that you are health conscious and may show them that you aren’t just making up the fact that you won’t give them COVID.
Let’s say that you just can’t convince your partner that you’re COVID-safe. I don’t want you to get SARS-CoV-Too ahead of yourself; maybe they are more than aware that you won’t give them COVID and this is just the line they’re feeding you because they just don’t wanna slam anymore. There are plenty more COVID-positive fish in the sea. To-date, there have been 87 COVID cases among students on campus. It’s not a sure thing, but at least one of them has got to be DTF. Maybe they’ve had challenges similar to yours in the fall and have the added bonus that they can actually test positive this semester. You can bond over shared experiences, like filling out the meal order form everyday or getting into weird, WEIRD things while gently losing your mind in the Alumni House. See how far you can get with your fellow COVID-patient without violating any HIPAA laws.
Boning on campus has been a hot-button topic for decades, but especially in these “unprecedented times” it’s important to hold on to what gives you joy, and it is also important not to give someone COVID through your ejaculate. By following this guide, you can be sure to ease back into the dating scene on campus, and you can even work your way back up to spitting in your hookup’s mouth by the mid-semester recess.