MOLLY LONGMAN

LAST UPDATED APRIL 22, 2021, 1:49 PM

When Kelvin Bivins and Nicole* first met on a dating app in August 2020, neither of them thought it was a perfect match. Bivins, who goes by KB, introduced himself with a non-traditional line: “I’m just sitting here eating candy with my niece.”

“I thought, That’s weird,” Nicole says now, laughing. “But let me just see where this goes. I asked him, ‘What kind of candy?’ It was something fruity.” Meanwhile, KB initially pegged Nicole as a “bad texter.” But once they met up they hit it off. On their first…


MOLLY LONGMAN

PHOTOGRAPHED BY EYLUL ASLAN.

Jacqueline* felt like she was in a staring contest with her phone. And losing. She was waiting for someone she’d met on Hinge to text her back. They’d been on two in-person dates, but they’d been “talking” for longer (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), and it felt like they’d known each other for a while. But now it had been four days since their last date — a park picnic with sweet tea and charcuterie — and she hadn’t heard from him.

“I felt totally bummed and was pretty sure I was being ghosted,” the 26-year-old recalls. “And…


MOLLY LONGMAN

PHOTO: ROBERT GAUTHIER/LOS ANGELES TIMES/GETTY IMAGES.

With an average of 3.38 million COVID-19 vaccine doses being administered per day, the shots have become a prime topic of conversation. Which COVID-19 vaccine did you get? Did you hear the news about the Johnson & Johnson one-shot? And, increasingly: Did you feel any side effects?

Because, while the two mRNA vaccines that are currently being administered in the U.S. have been shown to be safe, effective, and incredibly beneficial, they can come with some common and mild side effects. “What I tell patients is, for goodness sake, take the shot you can, when you can —…


NADIA EBRAHIM

PHOTO: COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES.

Striving to be a better Muslim is a thought that’s on my mind a lot. It’s something I know I should be acting upon and somehow, when I look back at my religious track record, it’s like I’m stuck on replay and no real progress has been made. Like the false starts to consistently praying five times a day to previous Ramadans where it’s been tricky to get away from work to break my fast on time.

Except for this past year.

I’m still not quite a model example of a practicing Muslimah and I’m not where I’d…


HALLIE LIEBERMAN

“It is going to sound insane because it is insane,” Akshaya Kubiak told the 911 dispatcher. It was 10 a.m. on July 16, 2020, and Kubiak was calling from his Las Vegas condo; near him lay the dead body of a woman. “We took mushrooms together, said our prayers together, put on Avatar together,” said Kubiak. At 6’1” and 205 pounds, Kubiak was muscular and handsome; he was best known as the star of Showtime’s reality show Gigolos, where he went by the name Ash Armand. “I don’t know if you’ve ever done mushrooms before,” he said to…


HANNAH RIMM

A few years ago, I was casually sipping on a hard seltzer when I felt my stomach seize. I knew almost immediately that I was having an allergic reaction, so I grabbed the can and scanned the ingredient list searching for hops or pork, the two random foods to which I’m allergic. But, beyond citing “natural flavors,” the ingredient list didn’t give me much information, so it was impossible to know what had caused my flare-up. Luckily, I knew just what to do: I emailed the company.

What I found out was two things: One, there were hops…


MOLLY LONGMAN

It was December 2020, and Martha Midkiff was sick and nervous. She was so nervous, it was making her sick. No — she was sick and it was making her nervous.

She had a cough. A bit of a fever. Given the ongoing pandemic, her first concern was that she’d contracted COVID-19. She was worried about the potential health repercussions for herself — but also, about receiving judgment from her group chat.

Early last fall, Midkiff, 25, and four other friends formed a “COVID pod.” It was nice to be able to see the other members in person…


FAWNIA SOO HOO

In before-times, we’d be glued to our multiple screens right about now, taking in all the award season fashion inspiration. Then we’d imagine ways to wear our own versions of the looks to, say, lively restaurants, crowded bars, or open-space office plans. But with a dearth of IRL celebrity red carpet moments in the last year as a result of the pandemic, it is the shows on the small screen that have been providing us with much-needed style inspo. …


LYDIA WANG

PHOTO: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES.

With approximately 19% of the U.S. population fully vaccinated, we have more information than ever about the three COVID-19 vaccines currently available to Americans — and we also have a lot of information about their side effects. Nausea, muscle pain, chills, fatigue, and a fever are all normal reactions. So normal, in fact, that some people might now be more worried about what it means if they feel nothing.

But experts say that both side effects and a lack thereof are no cause for concern. “The reason why people have different levels of side effects or different severity…


JESSICA MORGAN

To some, Tessica Brown’s perma-sleek mistake was just another punchline that launched a million Gorilla Glue Girl memes, but the fact that a Black woman was struggling with at-home hairstyling during a pandemic wasn’t a simple joke. It was a viral example of the creative ways in which Black women have had to adapt to a reality without salons. As global lockdowns and social distancing guidelines rendered regular tips to the hairdresser nearly obsolete, many Black women have had to learn to style their own natural hair — an endeavor that can be at once anxiety-inducing and liberating…

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