An all-important criterion for singles on the prowl in the coming months will likely be whether or not a prospective mate has been vaccinated against COVID-19. And one San Francisco-based dating app has already added vaccination status as a profile item.
"78% of [our users] have told us it's a deal breaker if their date doesn't take COVID seriously," says Dawoon Kang, the co-founder of the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel and its "Chief Dating Officer." ABC 7 spoke to Kang this week as well as several Bay Area singletons who are back on the dating scene.
Regarding the app's users, Kang tells the station that there's already evidence that vaccination status will play a big role in people's dating lives in the coming year. "43% of them have mentioned that if they come across a profile that says that they've been vaccinated they're more likely to actually like the profile," she says.
Coffee Meets Bagel isn't alone in thinking along these lines, and it's likely that other popular dating apps like Tinder and Bumble will follow suit with adding the vaccine question or making it more front-and-center on profiles. As the Washington Post reported last month, "vaccinated" or some form thereof has made its way into a growing number of usernames and profiles on hookup apps like Scruff. And OkCupid reported that users who answered "yes" to the question "Will you get the COVID-19 vaccine?" were getting liked at a rate 25% higher than those who answered "no."
"The way that people react to COVID in Texas versus how it is in California, I feel like it's two opposite ends of the spectrum," says local resident Ethan Melloul who splits his time between Houston and Palo Alto. He tells ABC 7 that it may not be fair to judge people on their vaccination stance, or that if one filters out everyone who's not vaccinated, one could be missing out on a potentially great match.
But Cheryl Glickman, an essential worker who's had her vaccine since December, tells ABC 7, "For me I would like to know if someone is either vaccinated or plans on being vaccinated because that's an important aspect of life moving forward for me in terms of dating."
In the Bay Area, buy-in for the vaccines shouldn't be too much of an issue, and this will mostly just be a matter of time for most in getting their appointments once "open season" begins April 15. As the Chronicle reports, a new U.S. Census survey found that the San Francisco metro area ranks #2 for vaccine demand in the nation behind Seattle, with the lowest percentage of vaccine hesitancy. The survey was small and could have a 5% margin of error, give or take, but it found that 72% of Bay Area residents say they want a vaccine. That's compared to another part of California — ahem, Riverside — where only 44% of respondents said they were interested in getting a vaccine.
As other polls have found, probably thanks to Donald Trump, trust in science and desire for the vaccine breaks down along political lines, with a reported 50% of Republican men saying they won't get a shot. In reaction to that, party loyalist and polio survivor Sen. Mitch McConnell issued a statement Tuesday encouraging "all Republican men" to go get a vaccine.
McConnell said he got his shot as soon as it was his turn, and he said there's "no good argument not to get the vaccination. I would encourage all men regardless of party affiliation to get the vaccination."
Photo: Andrej Lisikov