The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our social lives. Face-to-face interactions were replaced by isolation as many retreated to their homes to ride out the pandemic and personal interactions were sidelined.
Restaurants and bars shut down, throwing a wrench into many people's dating plans.
At the same time, dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge skyrocketed in popularity--and video and FaceTime dates became the new normal.
The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines and states and businesses loosening pandemic protocols for the vaccinated has many people saying they are ready to get back out there for in-person dating. But, that enthusiasm is mixed with anxiety too.
A survey of 1,000 women from telehealth platform Nurx found 55% open to date again--but 44% worried they are out of practice.
Clearly, bouncing back to our lives before the pandemic will not be simple or easy for everyone. Life after the pandemic will take some adjustment.
So if you are suddenly feeling like your former, awkward middle-school self when it comes to the possibility of re-connecting with people in person and dating again, we have with us experts who can help answer questions.
We will also hear from people who have dated during the pandemic.
Later in the show, graduation season is here as high school and college seniors pursue their career and education goals. Graduation is a time of endings and new beginnings and reflection.
Among those graduating this spring, Lorain County Community College student Nikita Johnson. She graduated from LCCC over the weekend.
We first brought you Nikita's inspiring story back in February on the Sound of Ideas. Nikita was one of only eight students nationwide named a 2021 Dream Scholar by the organization, achieving the dream.
The organization selected the scholars for their resiliency and determination to reach their goals and lift up their communities.
Nikita's story certainly meets those measures. She overcame childhood poverty and dropping out of high school to resume her educational pursuits as an adult at LCCC.
We welcome back to the show Nikita Johnson. She joins us again on the show to talk about her recent graduation, future education plans, and her career goals.
Lou Barrett, writer and publisher
Coly Puzzuoli , videographer
Kathy Dawson, telationship voach
Tara Smith, Ph.D.; epidemiologist, Kent State University
Anna Huntsman, health reporter/producer, Ideastream
Nikita Johnson, LCCC graduate, Dream Scholar Award recipient