Why not a one-month shutdown of casual sex?

PeterReed’s comment on Why don’t migrants get COVID vaccines at the border? (which references an Atlantic magazine article by a fat guy complaining that the righteous vaccinated Americans will be paying for COVID-19 treatment for Republicans (mentioned 12X in the article) who refuse to #FollowExperts and take the vaccine):

This future burden from lack of covid vaccine is no different than similar righteous talk about smoking, overeating or reckless lifestyle. It is convenient to bring this objection out now for a certain political view about vaccines, but better not bring it up about drug use or casual sex.

My response:

That’s a great point. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/04/14/986997576/once-on-the-brink-of-eradication-syphilis-is-raging-again : In certain circles of San Francisco, a case of syphilis can be as common and casual as catching the flu, to the point where Billy Lemon can’t even remember how many times he’s had it. “Three or four? Five times in my life?” he struggles to recall. “It does not seem like a big deal.” At the time, about a decade ago, Lemon went on frequent methamphetamine binges, kicking his libido into overdrive and silencing the voice in his head that said condoms would be a wise choice at a raging sex party.

If a hater were to complain that Mr. Lemon should have cut back on his recreational meth and trips to the local bathhouse so that our society’s spending on health care could be reduced, we would all condemn that hater.

Similarly, in https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-04-14/stds-hit-record-high-again-cdc-says

Meanwhile, approximately 31% of chlamydia, gonorrhea and primary and secondary syphilis cases were among non-Hispanic Black individuals, although they accounted for only 12.5% of the U.S. population, according to the report. Men who have sex with other men were also disproportionately impacted by STDs, the report says.

These disparities likely aren’t caused by differences in sexual behavior, but “rather reflect differential access to quality sexual health care, as well as differences in sexual network characteristics,” the report says.


It is fine to shut down schools for a year or more, but it is certainly #NotOK to suggest telling people to have sex with just one other person (or none, in the case of many married individuals; see below) for a month so that everyone could be tested and treated.

I hope that we can all agree that nothing is more important than preventing deadly disease. A month with a single boring partner will be a sacrifice for a happy Tinder user, but, as with American schoolchildren, we should be able to find experts to tell us that he/she/ze/they can make up for this after the shutdown.

Readers: What is the justification for allowing this expensive and destructive plague of STDs to continue? (If the objection is that the shutdown won’t end the plague forever, the same can be said for coronapanic interventions, including the vaccines.)