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

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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.

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

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36 Responses to “NYT: Making out with a stranger after you’re vaccinated still safer than going to a club”

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  1. Elizabeth says:

    Making out with a stranger isn’t on my top ten list of to do items, I’m trying to survive a damn pandemic. Is this aimed purely at Spring Breakers?

    • Katherine says:

      Same. Going to a bar also not on the list. Hiring people to do some work around the house on the other hand, that’s definitely on the list. Along with elective stuff like laser treatments, facials, and the like. Would really love to be doing that again.

    • Mika says:

      No. Some of us are young and single and live alone. We deserve human touch too.

  2. Nikki says:

    Making out with an attractive stranger sounds more fun than clubbing to me, if I were young and single!

    • Nikki says:

      But I’m old and married, so travel is what I’m most looking forward to: hugging my son!

  3. Tulipworthy says:

    I get the feeling that some people think getting the vaccine is a get out of Covid free card. You can still get and spread Covid even if you’re vaccinated.

    • Lex says:

      Yes, but this is our new life now. COVID is never going away, it will remain like the flu and we will need to be vaccinated annually. You can still be at risk to catch it, we just expect that the vaccine will make it less serious for our bodies to fight. So when we reach a point where majority are vaccinated, we will start living our lives again even with COVID out there.

      • Darla says:

        Thank you. Otherwise we can just bury ourselves now. There must be an end in sight, a return to normalcy even though it will be a new normal. Enough with the misery porn please.

  4. Watson says:

    I can’t imagine making out with a random, let alone sitting closer than 6 feet within an indoor setting. This pandemic has traumatized me so it may take me a long time to even think about.

    • ME says:

      Yeah. I mean there are lots of things you can catch from kissing someone. No thanks. This pandemic has truly changed the human brain. Just now I looked out the window and saw a few neighbors all huddled together talking and was shocked ! The things that seemed so normal before seem insane now.

  5. kelleybelle says:

    You can also shed the virus for which you were vaccinated up to 48 hours afterward and sometimes beyond. Which is why the recently vaccinated are often told to stay away from cancer patients and immunocompromised people. They should mention this but never seem to.

    • cdnKitty says:

      This is not true – the COVID vaccines do not contain any live virus and there is ample proof that live virus shedding is more myth than reality in modern vaccines. There are peer reviewed articles that dispel the viral-shedding theory. (Can’t link here unfortunately)

    • Coco says:

      This isn’t true for mRNA vaccines though. These vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein to trigger a response without using any part of the virus, live or not. Without being injected with the virus, you cannot shed the virus.

  6. Case says:

    It’s so hard explaining this stuff to people. On an individual level, it’s great because we can gather in SMALL groups with vaccinated close family or a friend. But it’s not a free-for-all and it’s much more about the community than the individual when it comes to resuming normal life. I just had to tell my dad the other day that no, just because he’s vaccinated doesn’t mean he should resume work travel. The CDC still wants us to delay unnecessary travel. Personally, I’m vaccinated but still wouldn’t go to a store at a busy time of day or eat in a restaurant, because the numbers in my area are surging and there are crazy variants now.

    Until our numbers are down, until we’re able to either knock out the variants or get boosters, it’s all still much of the same, with some small, welcome freedoms. And that’s okay! Baby steps.

    • Katy says:

      I’m not sure where you live but I’ve traveled and airlines and airports were packed and we aren’t required to wear a mask here, I do anyway, and everything is open. We’ve had less than a 100 cases.

  7. (The OG) Jan90067 says:

    Since getting vaccinated, I feel MUCH safer, with a MUCH lowered anxiety level about going to do things outside my home (I even went out to (outdoor) lunch a couple of times! Woohoo!), but I’m not sure I’m ready for dating/kissing anyone, even with proof of vaccination. Still too much we don’t know about spread, or just how ill you can get even vaccinated (if you have any underlying conditions). I know they *say *now* it’s 100% effective against hospitalization for *severe* Covid, there’s still so much we don’t know. I think I’ll wait for a little more time and more stats to come out first.

  8. A reader says:

    Thanks for that GOLD quote from dr Chin-Hong… lol I’ve been wanting to get back to dating sooooooo badly.

  9. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    I am writing this while sitting in my local pharmacy waiting on my 15 minute post-vaccine observation period. And it’s my birthday! I woke up at 4 am this morning because I was so excited to finally see some people that I have been missing. It’s the best birthday present that I have ever had.

  10. Darla says:

    Well, this is going to be my hot vaccinated summer, and I am even going to begin blogging about it for Gex X. Judging by my (pretty large circle) we are the generation old enough to have been worried about severe covid, and young enough to still be very active socially and sexually. Many of us are divorced and never married.

  11. Gil says:

    This pandemic really screwed my brain, now I cannot imagined an interaction with strangers without a mask. I live in Japan and even kids wear masks. It’s been almost a year since last time I had an interaction with someone without a mask, I cannot really see myself going back to what things where before all this mess.

  12. Snuffles says:

    I got my first shot of Moderna a week ago. The only “wild” thing I’m going to do once fully vaccinated is give my parents a big hug and sit down with them for a meal. The only gatherings I will attend are with other vaccinated family members for holidays and birthdays. Luckily everyone in my family is getting vaccinated so that won’t be a problem.

    I will consider it a triumph just to be able to go to a beauty salon and get a haircut. Or step foot into a store (while still fully masked). But, honestly, I’m pretty sure I would flee if I felt it was getting too crowded.

    So my plan is:

    1) Hug my parents and have a meal with them

    2) Get a haircut

    3) Finally call in the plumber, electrician and maid service to do work inside my house. While demanding they are fully masked and staying fully masked myself.

    4) Spend more time outside and not freak out every time someone I don’t know comes anywhere near me

    • Katherine says:

      Hell yes to the work around the house, that stuff has been piling uppp

    • Case says:

      My plans are the same as yours! Nothing crazy, just practical stuff. I’ve been staying away from my parents for several months because my dad has to work in an office building — we’re all vaccinated, and I’ve finally been able to see them, which is amazing! Once cases lower in my area (hopefully they will — they really lowered here last summer, but we shall see), I plan to finally go to the hair salon and yes, have work done around the house. I need some new appliances that I’ve been uneasy about getting delivered — I’ve been without a dishwasher since June! I’ve pretty much been getting groceries delivered, so again, once cases lower a bit, I look forward to enjoying some much-needed Target time (still as soon as they open when it’s empty — I don’t feel comfortable going mid-day on a Saturday or anything).

      I laughed at your fourth point — I live in a townhome community and have been so freaked out to sit outside with strangers walking past me on my back porch. That’s one thing I feel much more comfortable with now!

      • Snuffles says:

        OMG! Same!

        I’m in desperate need of a new washer and dryer. I have to run my dryer 3 times to get my clothes dry and they still smell kind of musty.

  13. Lucy2 says:

    I am 1/2 for vaccines, get my second one this weekend, but I’m still in the “keep everyone away from me“ phase.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      FYI Lucy2, it came out this morning (I think), or maybe yesterday: Pfizer says that ONE DOSE of their 2 dose shot gives 80% immunity. So yay!

      (Don’t know about Moderna’s one dose immunity (the one I got), but am fully immunized-4 wks. post shot).

  14. Sean says:

    “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.”

    This hit me hard.

  15. Tiffany says:

    As long as they are flashing that vaccination card along with that smile, I’m down to clown.

  16. Faye G says:

    I just got my first vaccine dose and I’m ready to make out with a Stranger! I’ve been single and isolated since this thing began, I’m willing to take a little risk to start to feel alive again. I’ve got a cruise scheduled for the summer and I am insanely ecstatic about that! Granted it’s with family but I’m sure I can sneak off and find a willing person, right? Haha

    • Darla says:

      Right! Yes!

      I think people who didn’t lock down with a mate are in a different category and since many of us aren’t ready to be put in the ground just yet, we are willing to be less cautious once we are fully vaccinated. And importantly our loved ones are too. I know the fact that my mom is now fully vaccinated has taken a big load off of my mind.

  17. Malachite says:

    I am very excited about the make-out rules! I have been chatting with a romantic interest since last November and we have not met up yet. I get my second vaccine April 11th and hope to be kissing him 2 weeks later!