Coronavirus alert on Tinder surprises dating app's users

Can we swipe “no” to the coronavirus?

Tinder has surprised users by declaring that COVID-19 protection is “more important” than having “fun” on the dating app, reminding romantics to exercise caution in whom they’re meeting up with amid the ongoing outbreak.

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In recent days, astonished users have re-posted the in-app alerts to Twitter, sharing their mixed feelings about the warnings.

"Your wellbeing is our #1 priority,” the message begins. “While we want you to continue to have fun, protecting yourself from the coronavirus is more important.”

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The alert also includes a few general health safety tips, encouraging users to wash their hands often, use hand sanitizer, avoid touching their face, and maintain a safe distance from others during public gatherings. The message further instructs users to learn more from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The dating app Tinder has surprised users in recent days with a new coronavirus alert in the app.

The dating app Tinder has surprised users in recent days with a new coronavirus alert in the app. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

According to Business Insider, the notification arrives when users swipe through potential matches while using the popular app’s famous “browse” function.

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Some social media commenters have praised Tinder for the public health alert, while one jokester poked fun at the situation, likening dating during the ongoing outbreak to the novel "Love in the Time of Cholera," by Gabriel García Márquez.

Critics, meanwhile, were more skeptical of the pitch. One user argued that Tinder "already makes me feel depressed" and that the unexpected coronavirus update was anxiety-inducing.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Tinder told Fox News that app administrators hoped to remind Tinder members of general precautions to take when meeting new people amid the ongoing outbreak, per WHO suggestions.

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As of Wednesday morning, over 90,000 people worldwide have been sickened by the viral disease, while the death toll has risen to 3,100 in at least 70 countries.