Sex and The City: Casual sex & COVID-19 risk
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I had casual sex with my single neighbour 15 days ago as she had not ventured out of the house during the lockdown like me and I assumed it was safe. But she later told me that she had visited a friend in the neighbourhood one day before the lockdown and that the friend had been hospitalised with Covid 19. I am angry with her and myself, and I am since then gripped with fear that my neighbour may have been a silent carrier of the virus and that I am possibly infected. I am afraid of getting myself tested and am very restless. Please help.

Ans. Your neighbour with whom you had casual sex could very well be a silent carrier of the virus. Good news isn't available in this world upon order. 15 days have lapsed and you are asymptomatic so that could be seen as good news but certain measures must be taken in order to rule out ominous health possibilities (especially at a time like this).

As adults, we must learn to contend practically with matters of health and science in the way advised by our government and reliable healthcare entities. Biology doesn't wait around for our opinions to do what it needs to do. Biology is about phenomenological inevitabilities. A virus doesn't send you postcards to warn you about its arrival in your body and therefore you must be prepared for life's invisible messages by not pretending to be invincible.

To take the necessary precautions is not the same as being gripped with fear to a point of phobia or paranoia. What are you experiencing currently? For many people, fear goes hand in hand with being impractical and unrealistic as fearful individuals often act in extreme and knee-jerk ways. You need not do any such thing. Ruling out possibilities will help alleviate your concerns.

If fear helps a person take certain necessary steps to get themselves checked and tested for the novel coronavirus, then by all means, that fear must be respected and one should proceed to get tested. Human beings are afraid of touching hot objects, being locked in a cage with a ferocious predator or standing precariously close to ledges of high structures. Why are they afraid? It is that very fear that protects people from certain death and doom.

We can't always manage certain situations in our lives but we can manage our responses to them so that self-determination and dignity becomes possible for us. Many people would suggest that you self-quarantine for a minimum of 2 weeks but since 15 days have lapsed (you've already done that). Continue to self-monitor your symptoms based on the popular guidelines that are now being shared on all government websites.

You should also speak to a doctor and strongly consider getting a home-test done for the Covid-19 if that's possible and permitted in your locality. It's better to be safe at this stage than endlessly worry about your health to a point where the anxiety poses as much of a challenge as the Covid-19 virus. Conjecture and analysis will not help you at this stage. It has neither didactic nor cathartic value to what you are going through.

You'll find yourself scrambling about the same loop and causing little more than a furore and panic. Taking the appropriate action is the only sensible way to go about finding a way out of this ambiguous state that you currently find yourself in. Many people have successfully recovered from the Coronavirus just because they have taken good care of their health & strictly followed the advice of healthcare professionals.

There are no guarantees in life. There are only honest efforts. If you continue worrying, it could also play a significant role in lowering your resistance to the virus (assuming that you're even infected in the first place). Your neighbour who hooked up with you was probably as oblivious about the virus as so many others who were caught off guard by the lockdowns and various gloom and doom scapes that are being painted by various societal and political factions.

Do get tested and stay rested even if you're currently feeling afraid of what you may find out. Fear is natural to all creatures. Even a lion outnumbered by hyenas experiences fear. Think of your getting tested as a public service that you're doing in case someone else has been in contact with you (around the same time that you hooked up with your neighbour) and has therefore risked exposure to the virus as well by being around you.

Think about their families. Getting tested isn't just a way for you to stay healthy but it's also a way to ensure that others who may have met with you - get the necessary tests done to get a clean chit of health.

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