Catch Feelings, Not COVID: Project brings New York singles together through blind video speed-dating – CNBC

Catch Feelings, Not COVID: Project brings New York singles together through blind video speed-dating – CNBC

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Some New York millennials have turned to video speed dating as a way to maintain their social lives amid the stay-at-home order put in place due to the coronavirus

The dates are coordinated through a project called “NYC Virtual Dating: Catch Feelings, Not COVID,” started earlier this month by Chelsea Mandel and Amanda Shane. The New York women had recently finished watching “Love Is Blind” on Netflix and wanted to use their talents as social connectors to help singles in their networks maintain their social lives. 

“New York is isolating in the first place, and now because of coronavirus, it’s beyond isolation,” said Shane, a social worker. “And in our tiny, tiny New York City apartments, the idea of no connections for months is terrifying.” 

Mandel and Shane began promoting the project via email and their social media accounts on March 19, and have coordinated 145 virtual dates with another 77 in the works. Each date takes place via a FaceTime or WhatsApp video call, and daters have just 15 minutes with their match before the date is over. 

“People aren’t going out, they’re not meeting new people, they’re not going on dates,” said Mandel, who works in commercial real estate. “We just thought this was a great way to build human connections.” 

Prospective daters have to fill out a Google Form questionnaire about themselves and what they’re looking for in a partner. The topics include hobbies, political affinity, religion and everything
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