Thursday, June 4, 2020

Should we have been told not to kiss or have sex?

"Couples should wear face masks during sex," according to a study:

A new study from researchers at Harvard University says that hooking up carries some risk for transmitting COVID-19 from one partner to the other and recommends — among other practices — wearing a face mask while doin’ it.

The research … ranked frisky situations based on how likely it is to catch coronavirus while in the act. Researchers recommend wearing a mask for the riskiest sexual scenario: sex with people other than those with whom one is quarantined.…

The study also mentions that having sex with people who are together in quarantine is safer, but there is still a risk. For instance, if one partner goes outside to run an errand and is exposed to the virus, they can transmit it to the other. Even if that person is ultimately an asymptomatic carrier, they can still infect the other.

The safest approach to sexual activity, according to the researchers, is not having any. Abstinence, they say, is “low risk for infection, though not feasible for many.”
Wait, why isn't it "feasible" to stop having sex for a while if that will save lives? Let's face it: if the authorities really wanted to give us guidance on how to reduce the spread of Covid, they would've been telling us since March not to kiss or have sex at all, with anyone, even your spouse. I mean, we’ve been hearing for months about how the virus is spread through droplets, and kissing and/or having sex means exchanging a lot of droplets with someone. You can’t say it’s a lost cause to avoid that with your spouse, because that ignores the idea of “viral dose”: it isn’t a binary question of whether you are or aren’t exposed to a certain person. It’s a matter of degree, so the more you’re exposed to someone’s droplets the more your risk increases. (That's a Facebook link with an excerpt from a New York Times article; here's the NYT link.)

The authorities haven't done that because they know it would’ve led to a backlash: people would’ve mocked it and rebelled against it. People would’ve seen it as outrageous to be told they shouldn’t kiss — yet somehow it’s not outrageous for people to lose their jobs, their businesses, their livelihoods, etc.


(Photo by Brieu Saffré.)