Image description: A young woman holds her phone to face the camera, and smiles at the phone screen. A young man is on the screen, and looks at her in delight. There is a Shutterstock watermark over the image. 

 

By Millie Muroi

 

ABSTRACT

 

After taking a long hiatus, I decided to give my ex another go.

 

By that, I mean downloading an app I swore would never grace my screen again.

 

Why on earth would I go back to Tinder?

 

In my defence, the infamous dating app has gone through a glow up this past month – and this global evolution coaxed me to tap ‘reinstall’.

 

Until April 30th, the matchmakers have made their (hitherto premium) ‘Passport’ feature free for all users, meaning you can set your location to anywhere in the world and be virtually teleported there.

 

Who doesn’t want to match with some romantic Italian guys, sophisticated French women, and indeed, anyone – along any spectrum – failing to really accurately embody any of those sexy stereotypes?

 

And what better way to put my below-entry-level French and Japanese to good use?

 

METHOD

 

Anyway, I digress. Under the guise of ‘education,’ I carefully re-crafted my profile – so as not to catfish my potential suitors – and started swiping.

 

To maintain some scientific validity – following some small-talk of course – I asked each one the same thing: “how’s the pandemic treating you?”

 

Here’s what I learnt.

 

RESULTS

 

TRIAL ONE

Haisum, 27

Location: Bordeaux, France, 14,432km away

Preliminary Notes: Bonus points for making the first move; Virgo so you know we’re compatible: wants someone to “practice social distancing with.”

 

Key Findings: 

  • France is in full lockdown.
  • President Macron announced a prolongation of this lockdown until the 11th of May.
  • The French can “still go shopping and exercise,” but “only for an hour a day.”
  • They must carry either a physical or electronic “attestation” (admittedly, your correspondent thought this was a French word, but upon googling, it turns out to be “evidence or proof of something.”)
  • Parisians are apparently “in love with Bordeaux” and many of them flew out of the capital when Macron announced the lockdown because “they wanted a better place to live during the lockdown.”
  • Before the pandemic in Bordeaux, “real estate business was booming” (that phrasing is verbatim – is this guy secretly an ECOMS catfish?)
  • Haisum ominously says that “massive changes are coming.”

 

Final Thoughts: Interesting insights but fairly suspicious use of ECOMS lingo.

 

TRIAL TWO

George, 23

Location: Chester, England, 14,669km away

Preliminary Notes: “Using the quarantine to practice (his) Jane Austen style love letters,” and a history and economics major who “can bore on a budget.”

 

Key Findings:

  • Worked as a junior IT support but “with the virus going around, (his) job is seen as non-essential” so he’s “not working until it sorts itself out.”
  • “In lockdown atm” so “only jobs required to keep the country going are allowed to work if you can’t work at home.”
  • Apparently “there’s not enough police to enforce it all,” but just like in France, they’re “only allowed out for an hour or so.”
  • George “only (goes) out to do shopping.”
  • Seeing as he’s an economics major, I thought I’d throw him some big-brain level questions about the economy. “Unless the situation with the virus gets worse” George reckons, “they’ll ease up on the restrictions.” However, he doesn’t see the government allowing all work to start again – “just things like office jobs.”
  • The government are “trying to float everyone by paying a large portion of the population’s sick pay,” (which he thinks “is more the employer’s responsibility”) and “trying to get as many resources into the NHS as they can.”

 

Final Thoughts: No Jane Austen style love letters yet, but maybe economics isn’t the hottest topic to inspire those.

 

TRIAL THREE

[Insert Japanese katakana for “Denver” here], 25

Location: Tokyo, Japan, 7,918km away

Preliminary Notes: Moved there for university; multilingual; self-proclaimed “young, rich, handsome, and everything else you’re looking for.”

 

Key Findings:

  • There aren’t strict rules in place but “nobody is going out so there is no point of going out alone.”
  • There aren’t any fines, but people are expected to control themselves and “just stay at home.” This is because the Japanese constitution strictly limits the government’s power to restrict free movement of their citizens.
  • Match is upset because he “just go(es) to the gym usually…” and they’re all closed.
  • “Almost everyone” is wearing facemasks when they do go out.

 

Final Thoughts: Seems most upset about not being able to work out.

 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

 

Look, it started as a childish act to spite the virus wreaking havoc on my romantic prospects (a curve which, for the record, required no flattening whatsoever). A week later, here we are; several matches weirded-out – but at least a little enlightened on global affairs.

 

Anyone wishing to assist with research is encouraged to download the app and report back to the author with findings before close of business.

 

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