Tag Archives: covid-19

Sex with someone who is not part of your household to be made a criminal offence in the United Kingdom as part of new lockdown measures

The UK’s “Daily Mirror reports that:

“Sex in your house with someone from outside of your household is set to become illegal today.

The government is introducing new lockdown measures that prevent people from socialising (or gathering) with one person from outside of their household in a private space.

Up until now the person visiting a house for sex would have been the one in breach of the measures”. (See https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sex-your-house-person-another-22117105).

As a libertarian, (with a small l) I find this deeply disturbing. What consenting adults do (behind closed doors) should be no concern of the state or of society. And this legislation strikes me as being something one would expect in a dictatorship rather than a democracy like the United Kingdom.

Yes COVID-19 is a serious problem and I am concerned about the pandemic. However I am more concerned (in this particular instance) about unwarranted intrusion into the private lives of consenting adults. Just how many people are going to become infected with the Corona virus as a consequence of having sex with a person who is not part of their household? I would be astounded if anyone has carried out any research into this issue.

For what its worth, my own (non-scientific view) is that very few people will become infected as a consequence of indulging in sexual relations with a person who is not part of their household.

Apart from the massive impact on civil liberties, I honestly can’t see this law being enforceable. A few nasty neighbours may report someone they suspect of breaking this law, but the vast majority will, I believe mind their own business (as, indeed they should do).

This (proposed) law contrasts sharply with the sensible and liberal policy of the Netherlands where single people are encouraged (should they wish to do so) to find a “sex buddy”, (see https://kmorrispoet.com/2020/05/16/the-netherlands-advises-single-people-to-find-corona-sex-buddies/).

I never thought that I would see the day in a country I love where such draconian laws where even being considered.

Furlow

During the time

Of Corona, girls unseen
May fulfill a lonely man’s dream.
While poets smile
And spend their time
Composing rhyme.

“An Englishman’s home is his castle”
Neighbours say.
And, wishing to avoid hassle
They look the other way
As girls (ineligible for furlow)
Come and go.

And time
Hangs heavy on the poet’s hands.
Therefore, he composes rhyme
About a crossed line,
And resistance
To social distance

Lockdown and the Visually Impaired

As a registered blind person, I rely on the assistance of others (often strangers) in unfamiliar situations. My guide dog Trigger does an excellent job of helping to navigate London’s busy streets safely. He can not, however help me to find the platform in a station I rarely (if ever) use. Consequently I rely on sighted assistance in such situations.

The best way to guide a visually impaired person is to allow them to take your arm, and I have been assisted in this manner more times than I’ve enjoyed hot dinners. However, with the Social Distancing introduced as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, this kind of assistance is, apparently becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. Take, for example this email I received in response to my query sent to Transport for London:

“This question has actually been raised and answered already in our FAQs for station staff. Our intention is to carry on assisting Visually Impaired People in every situation. We will continue to provide assistance when asked, escort VIPs to platforms and onto trains, and also radio ahead for assistance at destinations whenever requested.

The two metre distancing rule will indeed mean we have to avoid direct contact and will make it harder to escort customers within stations, so extra time should be allowed for this. Nevertheless we will continue to do it as best we can.”

Just how (applying the 2 metre rule) will a visually impaired person be prevented from falling over obstacles, tripping on escalators etc?

Whilst I do, of course recognise the need for TFL employees to remain free (so far as is humanly possible) of Corona, I can’t help but wonder whether the use of a mask by employees, coupled with the changing of overalls after having conducted the visually impaired person would not be a more practical and sensible solution. Indeed if the visually impaired individual takes a bare arm, then the application of soap or hand sanatiser after the guidance has taken place would, surely be sufficient to prevent the possibility of COVID infection?

If any scientists happen to read this post, I would be interested to know your thoughts. In particular what are the possibilities of COVID being passed from a customer to a member of station staff (or, indeed the other way around) in what is, almost always a transaction of a few minutes?

Whilst walking through the woods yesterday, a gentleman offered his arm and helped me to pass some fallen branches which were blocking the woodland track. This response heartened me and contrasts quite starkly with the beurocratic position adopted by TFL and (doubtless) other service providers.

Of course the gentleman and I where in the good fresh air which does, I understand greatly reduce the possibility of passing the virus, particularly if one is in contact with another person only briefly. However this gentleman showed common decency and I’m grateful to him for his act of kindness.

There have been reports of neighbours and others reporting people for breaking social distancing rules. Perhaps the most famous example of this (although I have no idea who tipped off the press, or whether it was down to investigative journalism or muckraking depending on one’s perspective), was the revelation that Neil Ferguson (the scientist who’s work persuaded the government to introduce the lockdown here in the UK) had, himself been breaking social distancing rules.

The government had advised those in a relationship to either move in together (and not change between their respective homes), or to stop seeing one another during the Corona pandemic. However Professor Ferguson (a proponent of lockdown and social distancing) was found to have been seeing his married lover, (see https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8289921/Scientist-advice-led-lockdown-QUITS-breaking-restrictions-meet-married-lover.html).

There was, I believe a public interest in publishing the fact that a leading proponent of lockdown was breaking the rules which he himself was advocating. However would I, personally report a neighbour if I became aware that they where seeing people in their home who did not form part of their household?

The answer to the above question is no. Whilst I am, of course concerned about Corona, I don’t wish to live in a society where (as in the former East Germany/the German Democratic Republic) or Nazi Germany, people inform on their neighbours. To me someone beating their partner (or a child) is a very good reason for calling the police, but that same man (or woman) seeing friends, a partner who doesn’t live with them, or a casual lover is not. To me what goes on behind the closed doors of a person’s home is no concern of mine (apart from the exceptions outlined above).

Kevin

The Netherlands Advises Single People to Find Corona Sex Buddies

The BBC reports that:

“The Dutch government has issued new guidance to single people seeking intimacy during the pandemic, advising them to find a “sex buddy”.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) says singletons should come to an arrangement with one other person.

But pairings should avoid sex if one of them suspects they have coronavirus, the advice says.

The guidance comes after critics said there was no sex advice for singles”. (See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52685773).

This advice strikes me as humane and eminently sensible. It is unknown how long the COVID-19 (the Corona Virus epidemic) will persist, with many believing that there will be periodic outbreaks until a vaccine is available and widely distributed.

Some scientists remain sceptical that a vaccine will be discovered in the near future. Whilst others point out that no vaccine for the common cold has ever been found and that this may be the case with COVID-19.

Here in the United Kingdom those in relationships where advised (when the Lockdown was introduced) to choose one place of abode and move in together rather than moving between different houses/flats. However social distancing rules mean that those not currently in a relationship should not be entering into one.

Whilst individuals (both single and those in relationships) have differing sex drives, and some have very little desire for sex, sex is (for most people) an inate (and frequently) strong drive. Denying those who happened to be single at the time of lockdown the right to find intimacy with a willing partner strikes me as cruel, as it denies a section of humanity the right to indulge their desire for sex with a willing adult with the same desire.

There are, of course risks with contact of any kind during the COVID-19 situation. However these need, in my view to be balanced against the psychological damage which may, I believe be caused if those single people (who wish to) are not given an outlet for their healthy desire to express themselves sexually.

It simply is not reasonable to say to people wait until a vaccine (which may never be found), is in place before you find a long (or short-term) sexual partner.

The Changeless Wind, in the Bushes

The changeless wind, in the bushes.
Civilisation rushes
Ever faster.
Then, the disaster
Of corona, makes everything, slow.
Yet I
See bees go,
Busily by.