Essential workers have been the most impacted by the pandemic. Is sex with their partners a risk for their families?
COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into sex, particularly the dating world. Singles who’d been used to meeting people through apps and casual dates have had to stop due to social distancing guidelines and just plain common sense. When there’s a disease transmitted through close proximity to people, kissing others doesn’t sound like a great idea.
While sex for singles has been put on hold, couples who live together have continued on with their sex lives as usual. But what about couples who find themselves partnered with an essential worker who is at a higher risk of being exposed to the virus?
The CDC explains that the coronavirus spreads when “an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby.” This becomes more complicated with the knowledge that asymptomatic people can spread the virus without knowing that they are carriers themselves, meaning that essential workers could expose their family members to the virus without feeling sick or having coronavirus symptoms.
In an with Elite Daily, Dr. Vincent Racaniello explains that any person to person contact for essential workers should be considered “risky.” “Understand that sex places both partners in very close proximity, and therefore can lead to the exchange of respiratory secretions,” he says.
Sex with an exclusive partner also falls under this category. “If two people are living alone, then sex would be acceptable as long as they understand that this is a good way to infect each other. There’s nothing that can be done to make sexual activity safe if one partner is infected.”
When other family members are added to the mix, the issue grows more complex since you have to account for their health as well. Many essential workers don’t know how to cope with these situations, asking their family members to spray them with Lysol the minute they get home or using copious amounts of hand sanitizer to prevent catching the disease. It becomes a question of safety vs. work, with many being forced to choose the latter in order to continue to provide for their families.
Essential workers with more space in their households have also tried quarantining themselves from their families in separate rooms, minimizing contact with them as ways of protecting them from the virus.