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I Want to Kiss a Person, but the Coronavirus Has Me Worried 

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Dear Reverend, 

Things are heating up with a person I've had a crush on for quite a while. I want to make a move and kiss them, but the coronavirus epidemic has me wondering if that's not such a good idea. Am I being overly concerned? 

Coro-not-kissing (nonbinary, 38)

Dear Coro-not-kissing, 

All of the information swirling around about COVID-19 — aka the coronavirus — and people's reaction to it is pretty scary. No wonder it has you thinking twice about putting your lips on someone. Would I full-on-the-mouth-kiss a total stranger right now? Absolutely not. Or maybe ever. But you've known this person a while. As long as you have no real reason to believe that either of you has been exposed to the virus, I say go for it. 

You can catch a lot of things from kissing someone, even when there's no epidemic. Has that ever stopped you before? COVID-19 is a virus, just like the common cold or the flu. As long as you're relatively young and healthy, if you do contract the disease, it probably won't be worse than having the flu. Get plenty of rest and fluids, and you'll survive.

The most important thing is to keep it from spreading to those who would be more adversely affected, such as the elderly or people with compromised immune systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has all the information you need at cdc.gov.

Currently there's only one presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Vermont and no evidence of community spread in the state. We can keep it that way with commonsense hygiene that should be practiced all the time. Wash your hands; don't touch your face a lot; don't shake hands and then suck your thumb. All the stuff your mom told you. However, if your crush invites you to go on a cruise or an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy anytime soon, take a rain check.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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