HOW TO DO IT – Should I Pause My Open Marriage Because of the Coronavirus? My mother is immunocompromised. By Rich Juzwiak March 09, 2020 – 3:12 PM

How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Have a question? Send it to Stoya and Rich here. It’s anonymous!

Dear How to Do It,

My husband and I have an open marriage. My mother is immunocompromised. Is it unreasonable to ask my husband not to swap fluids with his girlfriend until the coronavirus blows over?

—Risky Business

Dear Risky Business,

As someone who uses a handrail on each set of stairs I traverse, I understand that you can never be too safe. (I am also extremely conflicted these days because what if coronavirus is on the handrail? Would it be better to die by broken neck or virus? I guess I’ll see…) Given China’s apparent success in slowing the virus by isolation measures that some might call draconian, there’s an argument to be made for social distancing to help contain a potential pandemic. Limiting exposure to crowds is one way to help mitigate the disease. As a Vanderbilt infectious disease expert, William Schaffner, explained to the New York Times, “If you can stretch things out long enough, you buy more time for the development of the vaccine and the research to be done for treatments.”