Reading Time: 2 minutes

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease was unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. As we know today, it has now spread to many other parts of the world and is raising a lot of questions and concerns.  

The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose. The World Health Organisation is recommending to stay more than 1 meter away from a person who is sick.

Coronavirus itself is not a sexually transmitted disease as far as we know now. However what needs to be taken into account is that during sex there is very close contact between two individuals and the chance of someone contracting the virus from another infected person is almost 100%, specifically due to the possible kissing involved. Coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets, so kissing someone infected with it puts you at high risk. Even if you don’t kiss the person you are having sex with, you may still contract coronavirus. Contaminated hands are a major source of infection. So, it’s not just sex itself – it’s any contact involved during the act that sets the risk high if you are in contact with a person infected.

The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. 

If you’re concerned about staying healthy, then it makes sense to avoid kissing or getting physically close to a partner who is showing signs of the coronavirus, which include flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and having a fever. If you’re worried that a partner could be a carrier of the coronavirus but is not showing signs, it’s best to postpone any sex sessions until you know their health status for sure.

The best thing we can do is to channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. First and foremost, among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions put in place on travel, movement and gatherings.

To keep on track with the most recent and reliable news about coronavirus, I recommend to follow WHO guidelines that can be found from here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.

Vilhelmiina Välimäki is a Clinical Psychologist at Willingness Clinic. She works both with children and adults. You can contact her on vilhelmiina@willingness.com.mt or on 79291817