How COVID-19 is similar to STDs

Carlene M. Dean
5 min readDec 2, 2020

There are a few similarities to the two diseases

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

“In some ways, COVID-19 is kind of like STDs (sexually transmitted diseases, what were called venereal diseases in the 70s),” said a dear friend of mine several months ago. She explained that in the case of both the coronavirus and, say, syphilis, if we get it or think we’ve got it, we should tell others so they can avoid us and/or seek treatment if they choose. Which is true and I agree.

She also noted that some people seem to be ashamed about having coronavirus (and why they would be ashamed boggles my brain). Apparently this was the case in the first known incidence in our small midwestern town. A well-known man, a frequent patron of the local liquor establishments (i.e., bars), tested positive but didn’t seem to want to let everyone know. He actually denied it, according to my friend. Which in my mind was selfish and thoughtless to those who are in contact with him regularly. As it were, he and his family are fine.

To cut the man in question some slack, maybe it’s because he felt like maybe having the virus meant he was “dirty and unclean” like was the popular perception when I was younger (many, many moons ago) and learned about STDs in health class. I never got why people thought this way, though as I recall the prevailing notion back then about gonorrhea et. al., was that people who contracted them were slutty and slept around a lot.

This may have been true for some people but not everyone who got herpes or whatever. However. the fact is that in order to get an STD — just like getting the coronavirus — means you only need to be in contact with one person who is infected to get it yourself. “One, uno, less than two” (to quote a cartoon character from a long-ago show) person. That is all.

Though my friend’s analogy is indeed a good one, I also see COVID-19 as being a lot like cancer. What I mean is, I’m pretty sure that by now many of us either have it (like myself) or know people who have had it previously; or know people who have died (like my mom, other relatives, and a handful of friends) from it or know people who have lost loved ones/friends from it. It’s everywhere and can happen to anyone. I know a number of people who have had it (and are still alive) and have a friend who recently lost her mother to the…



Carlene M. Dean

Experienced professional writer/freelancer and former newspaper reporter-turned-online writer/blogger. Thinker. “Old soul”, young hippie, empath.