The expression of the day is “risky behavior” compliments of Covid-19 warnings on how to avoid transmission: don’t congregate, don’t shake hands and don’t expect coffee shops to touch your refillable cups. From quarantines and closed borders to canceled schools and supply shortages – the daily number of confirmed cases is alarming.
The meaning of risky behavior sure has altered since I was a teenager. As with previous generations, we had the usual collection of risks, but most referred to the perils of running with scissors and the prospect of having sex.
Fast forward to 2020. As the coronavirus sweeps the globe, I’m convinced that life for young people is becoming more restrictive by the hour.
How easy I used to have it! When I went to a New Year’s Eve party as a teen, I brought along two invaluable things: taxi fare in case I couldn’t find a sober driver and a roll of mints for breath protection. Locking lips at the stroke of midnight was a given. I can’t recall every name or face, yet I do remember the kissing.
With the present-day virus risk, a few breath mints won’t cut it. Today, if people plan to kiss, they’ll need a hazmat suit as if handling radioactive isotopes. Add the caution of “spread the word, not the disease” – forget about sharing drinks or borrowing a friend’s lipstick. And make room, taxi fare (or Uber account): pack a supply of sanitizing gel, rubber gloves and face masks. If I were currently dating, I’d be a nervous wreck. I’d also need a larger purse for all the required items!
How do these findings translate to modern-day youth? If you’re brave enough to venture out on a date with someone you’ve been drooling over, even a brisk glove-covered handshake is going too far. Instead, blow a kiss from at least six feet apart.
Come to think of it, try not to drool. You might be contagious. I hope you two make a compatible duo because you might end up quarantined together.
Yikes! Dating never felt so risky.
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