Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part column on dating during a pandemic.
Jill has been quarantined in her small apartment in a Cleveland suburb for two weeks.
She was in close contact with someone who contracted COVID-19 and, under doctor’s orders, was required to stay away from others for 14 days.
“The problem is, I had just met this guy,” Jill said. “Well, kind of.”
“We hadn’t met face-to-face yet,” she clarified. “We matched through a dating app, and we were supposed to go on a first date.”
That first date never happened, Jill explained. Once he learned she would be indisposed for two weeks, he lost interest.
“I was kind of bummed because we had so much in common,” she added.
Jill, a recent divorcee, has been using dating apps (four apps, to be exact) and interacting with potential dates, but has never found the spark.
“He wasn’t a good match if he wasn’t willing to wait for me, right?”
Jill’s not the only relationship-seeker testing the pandemic dating waters.
Read more at https://www.vindy.com/life/lifestyles/2020/04/online-dating-during-quarantine-is-rough/ (may encounter paywall).
Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part series.
Through the smoke-filled, dimly lit fraternity house basement, I saw my future wife.
She was standing with friends while Snoop Doggy Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” thumped in the background. Red Solo cup in hand, I shuffled my way across the damp floor to say hi.
We could barely hear, let alone see each other. She smiled. We talked and laughed. I was predictably awkward (she’s way out of my league), but she agreed to go out on a date with me anyway.
Well, sort of.
I’m not sure anyone actually dated in college in the 1980s and ’90s, at least not in the traditional sense. What our society defines as dating ritual often includes asking someone to dinner, setting a pickup time and looking our best in hopes that chemistry and luck lead to a second date.
But college dating was a different experience. We’d pick a movie at Blockbuster, order a pizza and hang out in the living room of someone’s apartment — often with roommates lurking about.
Read more at https://www.vindy.com/life/lifestyles/2020/04/pandemic-dating-is-reminiscent-of-the-80s/ (may encounter paywall).
Although my Facebook friends are stuck at home, it looks like they’re learning new skills.
It’s easy to understand why. As stay-at-home orders continue, we have a little more time on our hands. Rather than go stir-crazy, some of us are using this as an opportunity to explore, experiment and learn.
One friend posted, “When life gives you lemons, you learn to make a lemon meringue pie,” complete with pictures and the recipe she used. If you don’t already know this, the meringue part is a challenge even for skilled bakers.
While the pie looked amazing, it was her comment—the twist on the old lemonade-from-lemons phrase—that caught my eye.
When live gives you something bad (i.e., pandemic), you use it your advantage (i.e., make something better).
It’s like the lyric from Lizzo’s Grammy-winning Truth Hurts. She’s dumped by her boyfriend and uses the bad experience to her advantage. She sings, “Fresh photos with the bomb lighting, new man on the Minnesota Vikings.”
Whoa. She’s dating an NFL payer? She sings about how her life is much better without the ex. Lemons to lemonade.
One of my friends is learning other types of recipes. He had his own lemony twist on the old saying.
“When life gives you lemonade, you experiment with different combinations,” he posted with pictures of fancy cocktails. He’s a mixologist, but his bar is closed during the pandemic. He’s using this time to test different combinations for a future cocktail menu.
Both friends admitted to a little help from the Internet.
Like them, if you’ve got a smartphone, it’s never been easier to learn new skills.
Thanks to how-to videos on YouTube, do-it-yourself guides from home improvements stores like Lowes and Home Depot, and a seemingly endless list of other free educational resources, you can learn just about any new skill.
While you’re at it, try earning a certificate. Search “free online course certificate” in whatever field you want to explore. The results might be surprising, and possibly a little overwhelming.
I’m interested in learning more about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). I set the date search parameters to show me only the best results from the last month. This is because many online learning hubs have been posting new or updated, free courses and other resources every day since the outbreak.
What’s better is that some results take the guesswork out of your search.
For example, last month, Forbes published a list of the best, free, online AI courses. I can pick from a ML crash course with Google, Elements of AI at Helsinki University, CalTech’s intro to ML through edX, and several others.
Some lists give important information for making the best selection.
Class Central, a clearinghouse of the best online courses, provides information on start dates, star ratings, and delivery platforms (Coursera, edX, Udacity, etc.).
You’ll find overviews, learning outcomes, and a syllabus for each course. If you’re concerned about course length (you can usually complete a course in a few weeks), check out the self-paced options.
No matter what new thing you try while you’re stuck at home, don’t hold back and be sure to share your results with the rest of us. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you’re learning.
We have a new target date for our kids to return to school — May 1, 2020. We’re aware that might change. Everything is in flux.
All we know is that we know nothing about life beyond April. So to create some normalcy in our lives, we’re looking for things we can control.
“At least April only has 30 days,” one of my kids said, reacting to the governor’s directive.
“At least we’ll still have field trips in May,” another kid said.
I didn’t have the heart to tell them that all field trips have been canceled. Some of trips were announced at the beginning of the school year. Lost experiences include a high school band trip to see the Blue Man Group perform in Cleveland, a first-grade visit to the Akron Zoo, and a seventh-grade “reward” trip to Kennywood Park.
Read more at https://www.vindy.com/life/lifestyles/2020/04/take-field-trips-without-ever-leaving-your-home/ (may encounter paywall).
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is special assistant to the provost and professor of communication in the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA where he also directs the graduate program in professional communication. He researches and writes on a variety of topics including communication technologies, relationships, and sports (with an emphasis on fandom). His work has appeared in Mahoning Matters as well as The Vindicator and Tribune-Chronicle newspapers.