Love in the time of Covid-19

New red flags to flee

Jeffrey Denny

The Coronaviris is not not serious.

Especially if you suffer stock market vertigo; have the unmitigated gall to question the President of the United States when he claims the pandemic is just another liberal scientist/media hoax like the climate meltdown; or you always panic and rush to decimate grocery shelves out of fear of flu, snow or fear itself.

But does anyone care about singles seeking complete strangers on date sites who might suffer or carry this Millennial Bubonic Plague? Sure, the internet is completely safe, but who knows?

Is Covid-19 the new STD that singles need to have “the discussion” about before enjoying mutually agreed-upon conjugal congress?

The best dating sites use powerful algorithms to offer the perfect mate (aka, least unacceptable, ignorant and redolent of Stilton). Yet bupkis when it comes to Ebola, Zika, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, SARS, MERS and various forms of Orthocoronavirinae.

So as Covid-19 spreads, daters should wash their hands, cough into their sleeves, bathe in Purell, shampoo and rinse and repeat with Prell, and avoid intimacy if they hear any of these red flags:

1.Date says, “Bartender, sorry, over here, excuse me, just asking: Does Corona Light have less Coronavirus than regular Corona? I’m watching my carbs, drinking healthy, and building immunity to pandemics. Hilarious comment, huh?”

2. “What about Dos Equis? Modelo Negra? Or Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, which I hope you noticed I pronounced correctly with cultural appreciation? Any Coronavirus there, since, well, you know, same country?”

3.“Hi! Wow! Did you just sext me at 12:30 a.m., on a work night, a year after we broke up because you were awful, and offered to come over to ‘sleep’ together, no strings?

“Yay! Door’s open, let yourself in and right come upstairs. I’m here.

“Don’t mind my 101.5-degree temperature, violent delirium, coughing up voluminous green globs of sputum and other symptoms that may be Covid-19 that ha ha ha I definitely don’t want to give you.

“See you when you get here!”

4. “Are you really canceling our first date for the fourth time because you’re actually sick with Covid-19?

“Or are you fake sick because in spite of my sexy date-site shirtless fish-holding photos and flirty misspelled incoherent messages, when we spoke on the phone, my voice sounded like SpongeBob’s? Or because I said Trump should be on Mount Rushmore?”

5. “Yes, I do usually welcome a first kiss — on the cheek of course — by the 10th date.

“But now, like everyone, I worry about catching this Covid-19.

“Also, I worry about how you talk obsessively about your cat, ‘Sarah,’ like ‘she’ is your beloved ex-wife, also named Sarah, who left you for your smarter, richer identical twin brother who took your house, kids, 401(k)s, and identity.

“I try to seem like a caring person, but when you sob about your ex-wife and might have Covid-19, believe me, I’m not that caring.”

6. “You know what they say, ‘Feed a cold, starve a fever’? Nobody’s sure whether Covid-19 is a cold or flu, right?

“But whatever I might have with this coughing and sneezing, would you mind terribly if I reach across and take a bite or two from your plate because it’s what I wanted to order, but I let you order it to seem nice so I could sleep with you?”

7. “I know, on our first date, it’s way too early to ask such a personal question, and I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but does my Covid-19 face mask make my face look fat?

“My last first date lied like the despicable lying liar she was and said no. But when I pressed her to respect me with the honest truth, she admitted that my fat face makes my face look fat.

“I replied, ‘Thank you for your honesty!’ But to be completely honest, I wasn’t being completely honest.”

8. “Why are you ghosting me, coward? We had an amazing first date! We conversed for nearly 15 minutes and I thought we connected around my wonderful life stories. Then we laughed together over my quip from Bette Midler in ‘Beaches’ (which I’ve seen 20 times), ‘Enough about me — what do you think of me?’

“Sure, sorry about your quarantine for Covid-19. But don’t bullshit me you don’t have wifi wherever you are.”

9. “We met for just 20 minutes at Starbucks, and it seemed the entire time you were dying to flee. I sense you have fear of intimacy because of your s’mother, which explains why you’re still available.

“But you had me at, ‘you don’t look like your pictures.’ I knew right away I would always love and take care of you, to have and to hold, in sickness or in health. So I don’t care if you have the Covid-19.

“Just like in that romantic movie where Cathy Bates promised to always take care of James Caan.

“How romantic is that, that we share a pandemic?”

10. “I can’t believe you didn’t check with me before ordering Chinese delivery for our ‘Netflix and chill’ Saturday night to revisit my favorite romantic comedy — the brilliant ‘Ghosts of Girlfriends Past’ with Matthew McConaughey — while blowing off dinner with your oldest best friends who are visiting from out of town because I can’t stand them and the feeling is mutual.

“If you want this relationship to even start — and to be respectfully honest, the jury’s still out even after two years — we need to be sensitive to each other’s food issues.

“Were you even trying to think about me when you ordered the Wuhan Party Platter — the steamed Wuchang fish with Xiaotaoyuan soup, Hongshan vegetables and Dongpo pork? Or were you thinking just of yourself? Or trying to kill me? I can’t eat any of this.”

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.

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Jeffrey Denny

Jeffrey Denny

A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.