COVID-19 Creates Virtual Relationships


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact. Whether it’s with family, friends, co-workers, or potential partners.

Even as businesses and restaurants begin to open back up  some experts believe the trend toward online relationship building won’t stop when the pandemic ends.

Staying at home is the ultimate social distancing. That’s cut out the traditional way we meet friends, both old and new.

With bars closed, college campuses shut down and even coffee shops limited to curbside service, the opportunity to meet ‘the one’ is limited.

“With those avenues closed people are going to do the same thing that work has done the same thing that school has done and move online and meet people there,” said Dr. Jennifer Sims, a Sociologist and Professor at UAH

Sims says the pandemic has likely convinced more people to go online to meet and develop real relationships.

And as the places we traditionally interact with others begin to reopen, Sims says some people, may decide to stay online.

“We also have to remember that not everyone is going to have the desire or the means to get back out to these crowded places or the traditional places for dating,” said Sims.

It’s not just dating. Social distancing has affected all kinds of relationships.

“If it weren’t for technology, I don’t know what in the world I would be doing,” said Beverly Jones-Durr, who runs a non-profit. Jones-Durr began her online journey before the pandemic.

“I was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer and I had to focus on survival. And during that time when I was in chemo, I wasn’t allowed to be around the children. That was really hard for me because it’s what I am built to do.”

Jones-Durr runs a non-profit called Every Child Has a Story. They offer speaking and writing skills, as well as entrepreneurship.

“It is amazing what technology has allowed us to do. My non-profit has blossomed and transitioned into something that is portable because all you need is a wifi-connection,” said Jones-Durr.

With the ability to connect anywhere projects and relationships can go beyond the boundaries of geography, giving us the ability to better connect, while being apart.

To learn more about Every Child has a story, head to their website.

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