COVID-19 has put a damper on the traditional dating scene and meeting that special someone has been an increasing challenge for many singles, according to the Greater Moncton Singles Facebook group.
“Our whole goal is to get people off their computer at home by themselves to come out, and COVID has not been helpful in that”, said Kerri Trevors, who is the administrator for the singles group.
Trevors said the group, which focuses on in-person outings, shut down their weekly social gatherings early in the pandemic.
“It was pretty tough at first because just getting together once a week on a coffee night was the first thing that people were saying that they really missed,” she said.
More people have turned to meeting and chatting online, the group administrator said. The group took some of its outings outside last summer when COVID restrictions were a little less strict, and the group had a “busy” summer as a result, Trevors said.
But, many members are still too nervous to meet in person.
One couple who paired up in the group even went for COVID testing before meeting in-person, said Trevors. She added COVID certainly has changed the dating scene.
Kathleen Meagher and Scott Bird of Moncton, currently dating, met on the site in January 2021, at the height of the pandemic. They said they started out their relationship online and eventually chatting through text before meeting in person.
“It is a lot harder during COVID to get out to meet people, and to get out socializing anywhere,” said Bird.
Meagher said their first date conversations were not exactly of a romantic nature: “you know you have to ask what is your exposure, how many people have you been around,” she said.
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A Moncton group known as People Along Caring Enough (PACE), was also forced to shut down its social gatherings as soon as the pandemic hit and the group’s membership director, Noelle Richard said it has been hard on the mental health of some members.
“We made lots of friends as we can’t see them anymore,” said Richard.
Most of PACE’s members are over 50-years-old, so Richard said the group is not taking any chances with people’s health.
Joanne Bymm of Moncton has been a member of the group for 15 years, and said she misses the outings and the organized sports like badminton.
“Not being able to see their faces, and give them a hug and saying his how are you doing this week,” are thinks Bymm says she misses most.
As the vaccine rollout continues, both groups are hoping to return to in-person gatherings soon.
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