Point: We must implement nation-wide lockdown immediately, and teach responsible use of contraceptives

We are faced with a worldwide epidemic, which has no precedent in living memory. In order to save lives, we must implement strict lockdown protocols across the country. It’s the only responsible course of action.

In regard to teen sexual education, we need to face the facts that kids will be kids, and make sure that at least they have basic access to information about how to protect themselves against STDs and unwanted pregnancies. Then they can make their own choices.

The spread of infectious disease is not something we can leave to individual choice. It sounds nice to let everyone make his or her own decision about whether to quarantine or not, but the reality is that the epidemic affects us all. If we don’t all lock down, the disease will continue to spread freely. We need nationwide compliance, or we might as well not even do anything.

Specific families and religious traditions will want to encourage abstinence among teenagers. But let’s be realistic: who among us really believes that it’s going to work? The statistics are pretty clear: teens are going to do what teens have done since the beginning of time. The responsible thing for us to do is to make sure that they can do it responsibly.

This pandemic affects all of us, whether we like it or not. We could have been done with it in two weeks if we’d just taken effective action immediately. It’s time we do it!

And let’s equip teens to make choices that make sense to them, too.

Counterpoint: We should let COVID-19 run its course, and teach abstinence in schools

COVID-19 has challenged our nation, and indeed the world, in unprecedented ways. Although it’s tempting to think that locking down society entirely is a solution, it’s just implausible. Humans are social creatures; we can’t just stop meeting together!

The problems arising out of teenage sexual activity are legion: everything from unwanted pregnancies to the spread of STDs. Faced with a pandemic of grizzly statistics, it’s only proper that we teach kids the only way they can actually stay safe: by abstaining from sex altogether.

Sure, a total ban on public gatherings sounds like a good idea, but do we really want to set that precedent? Should the government be making decisions for people at that level? What ever happened to personal responsibility? I say the people can make their own choices.

Promiscuity is simply no way to live, and teens should know that. We scare them out of smoking with pictures of disfigured former smokers. Decency forbids we show them the results of other diseases, but surely we can do something, and that will motivate them to keep their private parts to themselves.

Just look at how effective lockdown policies have been so far. Everyone complies… for about a month! And then as soon as the rules are relaxed even a little, people are crowding into bars and spreading the disease worse than ever. It wouldn’t surprise me if unrealistic quarantine policies were driving up the infection rate! Millions infected with AIDs? One in twenty affected by chlamydia? It’d be one thing if people were deciding only for themselves, but the reality is that they’re making decisions with consequences for future sexual partners as well, and even for their own families. Let’s teach our kids the best way forward.

Not intended to be a serious commentary on either issue, of course. I’m simply amused when dichotomization driven by party politics and cultural polarization drives people into mutually contradictory beliefs.