U.S. Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyWHO sees slowdown in omicron surge The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote Maryland Democrat announces positive COVID-19 test MORE is dishing out dating advice — offering some tips on how to safely mix and mingle in the age of the coronavirus.
"Dating during the COVID-19 pandemic: It's not simple, but it's definitely possible," Murthy says in a video released Tuesday by the dating app Hinge.
Murthy offers several tips on Hinge's pandemic dating resource page, leading with a push for relationship seekers to get their shots: "Recognize that getting vaccinated is the single most important thing we can do to reduce our risk."
Other tips include meeting up outdoors rather than having an indoor date night, and getting a coronavirus rapid test done before stepping out on the town.
Murthy also enters potentially thorny romantic territory, addressing how to make that first move amid a pandemic.
"Figuring out when to go in for that first kiss is always a bit awkward," he says.
The married physician and author of “Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World," suggests ticking off a risk assessment before locking lips, considering whether your companion is fully vaccinated, who they're interacting with on a daily basis and if they take precautions such as wearing a face mask.
The bad news is that first kiss might have to wait. Asked about when daters can ditch their masks, Murthy cites the more transmissible delta variant and says, "If you are in an indoor setting, then the safest thing to do would be to wear masks, especially if you're in an area where there's substantial or high spread of the virus."
But, Murthy says, that doesn't mean singles have to hit pause on looking for love because of the coronavirus.
"This pandemic has really given many of us an appreciation for how important our relationships are. We need people in our lives to get through tough times, to celebrate good times," he says.
"We don't have to give up on dating or relationships; we've got to pursue them."