#HotVaxSummer: an ironic hashtag in north America
#HotVaxSummer: a fable in the global South
What was the expectation? Love, love, love
Tinder predicted the summer of love
Dating apps encourage vaccination
The roaring 20s
Another 'summer of love'
Governments want to reboost the economy
Concerts and other outdoor events
Meeting new people outside
Summer love as a recurring fantasy
Hedonism
Young people compensating for bad years
Nostalgia for lost summers
The summer of love ... while it lasts
#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(1/15)
#HotVaxSummer: an ironic hashtag in north America

Young people all over the world were looking forward to the summer of 2021, because they expected it to be the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hashtag #HotVaxSummer was trending for a while, referring to new chances of romance after vaccination, but with the current, excruciatingly high temperatures in Canada and the United States, the word 'hot' gets a whole different - and darker - meaning.

(Image: Erik Witsoe / Alexis Brown, Unsplash)

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(2/15)
#HotVaxSummer: a fable in the global South

And how about that second word in the hashtag, 'vax'? While North American and European countries may be well underway with their vaccination campaigns, African and certain Asian countries stay behind, the World Health Organization reports. With the delta variant advancing rapidly and targeting especially the people with only one or no dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, a new, large wave of the pandemic seems likely in the coming months.

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(3/15)
What was the expectation? Love, love, love

During the pandemic it has been more difficult to establish relationships - in part because of the confinements and in part because people have feared contagion with the coronavirus. With several countries opening up for travel in the summer months of 2021, certain groups of people have imagined brighter days approaching. Days of travel, parties, and love.

(Image: Kimson Doan, Unsplash)

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(4/15)
Tinder predicted the summer of love

Tinder and other dating apps detected an increase in the search for relationships as soon as the vaccination campaigns in certain countries gathered steam. They did their math and predicted that this may be a memorable "summer of love."

(Image: Raphaël Biscaldi, Unsplash)

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(5/15)
Dating apps encourage vaccination

To make things easier (and promote vaccination in all age groups) the dating apps Tinder, Match, OkCupid, Bumble and Hinge reached an agreement with the US government to include an icon in the profiles of their users, identifying those who've been vaccinated. Their message: the vaccine leads the way to joy and love. Altogether, these applications have about 50 million users in the United States.

(Image: Christian Lue, Unsplash)

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(6/15)
The roaring 20s

As portrayed in the 1920s' novel 'The Great Gatsby' (and its successive film adaptations, with Leonardo DiCaprio for example), the 20s could become a decade of parties. That's what happened in the 1920s, after the destructive flu epidemic and World War I had ended. If the world manages to control COVID-19, analysts believe that we could see a 'roaring 20s' of the 21st century, starting this or next year.

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(7/15)
Another 'summer of love'

By the way, the term "summer of love" comes from the hippy era. It was the name given to the mass movement of youth to the capital of counterculture, San Francisco, in 1967. Scott McKenzie's song 'If You Are Going to San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)' defines that moment.

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(8/15)
Governments want to reboost the economy

While restrictions could continue for a long time, some countries see a fast process of vaccination and a return to the 'good old days.' Their governments hope to restart the party (ánd the economy) in open spaces, which is especially feasible when the weather is pleasant.

(Image: Jason Leung / Unsplash)

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(9/15)
Concerts and other outdoor events

In most countries, the big festivals and individual tours will wait until 2022, but we do already see some open-air concerts in countries like The Netherlands or Spain. They bring our senses closer to the normality that we lived before the pandemic.

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(10/15)
Meeting new people outside

With certain countries opening for nightlife and holidays - albeit with restrictions, quarantines, and / or required PCR tests - it's already possible to meet new people without resorting to one's smartphone, chat forums, or the aforementioned dating apps. Either way though, people who prefer to continue using the virtual mechanisms of seduction are of course free to do so.

(Image: Nick Karvounis / Unsplash)

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(11/15)
Summer love as a recurring fantasy

Enjoying a summer love is an iconic theme that literature, cinema and pop songs have treated abundantly. How about 'Grease' (in the image) for example, with the love of Danny and Sandy starting to bloom in 'summer days' and 'summer nights.'

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(12/15)
Hedonism

If the economic recovery proceeds correctly - and not every economist is convinced of that! - we may experience some good years in which a general hedonism occurs among people wanting to enjoy life after a pandemic that killed over 3.5 million people.

(Image: Anna Demianenko, Unsplash)

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(13/15)
Young people compensating for bad years

For their part, young people may be able to catch up after years of successive economic crises, precariousness and a pandemic that interfered with their future. The French President Emmanuel Macron said it aptly though crudely: "It is difficult to be 20 years old in 2020."
(Of course he referred to those suffering from the isolation of confinements, not to those people with the highest risk of dying from the disease.)

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(14/15)
Nostalgia for lost summers

While some look for new loves, there will also be nostalgia for past loves. The movie 'Before Dawn' (1995) shows how that might be.
Ethan Hawke plays a backpacker who coincides with the French July Delphy in Vienna. It's summer and, of course, romance arises between the two. But will it be just for that one night, or is there more in store for the two strangers?

#HotVaxSummer: Are we experiencing that long-awaited 'Summer of Love'?
(15/15)
The summer of love ... while it lasts

And how long will a summer love last? There's a famous quote attributed to the writer Gabriel García Márquez: "Love is eternal while it lasts." So let's enjoy the better times that come, whether it's with love, friendship, parenthood, or a pet.

(Image: Yehor Milohrodskyi / Unsplash)

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