AS OF this writing, sirens wail in mainland China as the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease– now given an official name, Covid-2019–claims its “thousand-fatality pass”. Governments are advised to pay attention to authorized channels of information such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and local health departments.

This coronavirus strikes outright fear to the public. This biological villain masks itself in a simple symptom such as coughing. In the Philippines, commuters cringe whenever a fellow passenger coughs in public transport.

Though this WHO-tagged “mild pandemic” currently enjoys the spotlight, some local health issues and concerns should be noticed as well.

Adolescents are facing challenges like early pregnancy and parenthood, HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). With other health issues arising, the adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) faces desertion; our scopes derailed from promoting the ASRH agenda to startling neglect.

February is reputable of its warm, inviting ambiance which convenes these risks of early pregnancy, HIV/Aids and STIs. You probably heard your friends, even random people on the street, of their V-Day plans and “reservations”. By this time, it would take effort (and a miracle) to book your favorite V-Day bedchamber. With the room promos popping up, it is irrefutably the Season of Love, mostly with risky, unprotected love-making.

I, for one, prefer a ‘skin-to-skin’ experience with the one I love. I also bet on your smirk that you also want that warm, unwrapped treat from your beloved. However, this bliss is relished without worry by people who are in a monogamous and secured relationship. By remaining loyal and faithful to one person, it minimizes the risk of acquiring HIV/Aids and STDs. Similarly, having one’s financial and parental capacity heightened, sets lovers’ security in terms of parenthood and sustaining a family.

V-Day also invites both paid and recreational sex. It’s not only a “happy ever after” kind of season but also a season for ‘happy endings’.

I’ve encountered a certain Rick and Marky in a pub back in the days. We had a lot of drinks together. Drunkenly we talked about sexual experiences – extramarital, pay-to-play and same-sex escapades.

Protection was not required by most of their “happy endings”, of past and present. Risks were known but not acknowledged. Basically, the thrill of the game clouded discernment.

NCoV, No Condom on Valentine’s, is a form of neglecting ASRH. The risks are great which may lead to lifetime ill effects, and may lead to education and economic disturbance to those vulnerable.

To those who played without protection, I can only hope that in the following weeks or months negative pregnancy test results and HIV/AIDS, STDs ‘non-reactive’ status be attained.

To those who are still planning to have sex, Covid – Condom On Valentine’s Is DaBest.