Two twenty somethings in New York are using their time in self-isolation to play matchmaker.
Roommates Thi Lam and Rance Nix, recently binged Netflix's "Love Is Blind," a social experiment where singles enter dating pods in hopes of falling in love and getting married — without initially seeing each other face-to-face.
Like millions of Americans, Lam and Nix found themselves among those who were told to stay at home and social distance this week to help curb the spread of novel coronavirus.
Holed up in their Brookyln apartment, the self-described extroverts say that staying indoors has them "literally going insane."
So, the two content creators came up with a creative outlet.
"The idea of "Love Is Quarantine" happened in five minutes. The ideation phase was two minutes. The execution was one minute … What if we made "Love is Blind: Quarantine Edition?" Lam recalled.
He said he ran to his computer, brought up Google Sheets and started making virtual "pods."
The two texted some friends, those friends shared the Google Sheet and from there, it grew exponentially. There are now nearly 1,000 self-isolated singles from across the country looking for love amid the coronavirus pandemic — and the dates are also LGBTQ-friendly.
Since the initial Google Sheet, Lam and Nix have created an Instagram account chronicling the phone dates, fan gossip and their newly acquired sponsorships.
"We do this for Mark [from "Love Is Blind"]. All of this that you see going on is for Mark. We love Mark. He's our favorite character … we love that he was all in, all for cause," Nix said of Mark Cuevas. Cuevas was infamously left at the altar by his then fiancée Jessica Batten.
Like Cuevas, Lam and Nix say they're both single guys looking for love, but they're not participating in the dating show themselves. They jokingly refer to themselves as Nick and Vanessa Lachey, the hosts of "Love Is Blind."
The pair have also started a website to market their "Love Is Quarantine" merchandise, where 100% of the proceeds go to helping COVID-19 efforts.
Nix said he realizes that they're lucky they have the luxury of not being stressed out by finances right now and their mission is to "spread a little joy, spread a little love, maybe make some connections."
"We are grateful for the opportunity and to parlay that into another opportunity to give back to people in need … why not?" Nix added.
You can audition to be in the pods or follow along with new dates every night on the "Love Is Quarantine" Instagram account.