Men’s genitals are taking a beating from the coronavirus, according to a public service announcement. It says “men who have had COVID are six times more likely to develop erectile dysfunction.” But this dubious claim appears to be based on a survey that had a small sample size and was not random:
This figure, that men with COVID are six times more likely to subsequently experience erectile dysfunction, seemingly comes from an online survey of 100 Italian men conducted in April 2020. Twenty-five of them said they had had COVID, while the remaining 75 said they had not. When asked about erectile dysfunction, under a third of COVID-positive men essentially said they were experiencing it, but only a tenth of the COVID-negative men. When crunching the numbers, the increased odds were calculated as 5.66, rounded up to 6 for the public service announcement. Based on this study, men with COVID were six times more likely to report erectile dysfunction.
While it is doubtful that men have six times the rate of erectile dysfunction after catching the coronavirus, there are at least a few cases where the coronavirus did lead to impotence:
an even smaller study looked at tissue from the penis of two men, ages 65 and 71, who had normal erectile function before getting sick with the coronavirus. They then developed erectile dysfunction so bad, they got a penile implant via surgery. Tissue from their penis, looked at under a microscope, revealed coronavirus-like spiked particles.
By contrast, it is clear that the coronavirus causes “long COVID” for some people, especially fat people. Obese people have higher death rates from the coronavirus, and higher rates of severe illness and complications. That may be because fat cells are literally “targets” of the coronavirus.
A study by Stanford researchers examined why obesity produces such bad COVID outcomes. It found that COVID can infect fat cells, which means it not only causes severe illness but also “long COVID.” As the study explains, fat cells are “targets of SARS-CoV-2 infection” and support “pathogenic inflammation,” which helps “explain the link between obesity and severe COVID-19.”
Yet during the pandemic, government officials fostered obesity, by closing schools, gyms, parks, and other places where people could exercise and lose weight. U.S. News reports on the big increase in obesity in America:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the nation’s obesity epidemic, according to a new report. In 2020, 16 states had adult obesity rates at or above 35%, up from 12 states the previous year….Since the pandemic began, 42% of adults in the U.S. reported gaining an undesired amount of weight, according to a Harris Poll conducted in February 2021. U.S. adults reported gaining an average of 29 pounds.
Government lockdowns spawned obesity through things like “canceled soccer practices” and “shuttered dance rehearsals,” noted CNN.
Many children became fatter when schools closed to in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic. Childhood obesity rose at the fastest annual rate ever.
“Overweight or obesity increased among 5- through 11-year-olds from 36.2% to 45.7% during the pandemic,” reported the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Skyrocketing obesity made suffering from the coronavirus worse.
Supporters of school closings claimed they were needed to protect people’s health. But by driving up obesity rates, school closings harmed kids’ health. Shutting schools actually increased coronavirus deaths, according to researchers at the University of Edinburgh. The Centers for Disease Control pointed out that there’s “little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to community transmission.”
Schools remained open in most European countries such as France. But in America, teachers unions successfully pushed to keep schools closed, resulting in enormous learning loss. Kids learned less when learning from home than they did when schools were open — especially black and Hispanic students, whose pass rates collapsed in states such as Virginia.
Politics, not students’ well-being, was behind school closures. Decisions about whether to close schools were driven mainly by teachers “union influence and politics, not safety,” reported Reason Magazine. Teachers unions repeatedly blocked school reopenings. Some used “sick-outs” to shut down schools or force school boards to delay school openings.
“Schools do not, in fact, appear to be major spreaders of COVID-19,” said Professor Emily Oster of Brown University. While a few students and staff have caught the coronavirus, that doesn’t show schools spread the virus: “Even if there were no spread in schools, we’d see some cases because students and teachers can contract the disease off campus.”