Covid-19 is a deadly virus sweeping the planet. By now, this global situation is probably impacting your life. There is no escaping it. The sad new is that the pandemic is predicted to go on for some time. The difficulty is, exactly how long that is, is totally unknown. Some are predicting, at minimum, weeks with huge loss of life. The reality is it will more likely go on for, at least, months. Furthermore, when restrictions on social distancing are lifted, which is the process the majority of countries are following, it is unlikely that clubs, bars and recreation venues such as massage parlours and brothels (where legal) will be allowed to open immediately. This leaves a huge number of sex workers in a very unstable and frightening position in the long term.
Sex work and the coronavirus has already put a lot in danger due to necessary intimacy involved with the industry but the financial fallout is huge for everyone in it.
Sex work and Covid-19, a catastrophe for some
With the loss of work, comes a total, and potentially catastrophic loss of income. Sex workers, including those that are registered with the authorities, generally work as independent contractors. Those that do survival sex work, especially, will be suffering greatly. The government response has varied wildly, country to country. Some are providing financial care packages to citizens but many of these discount those that work off grid. Full service sex workers are especially affected, in consideration of the fact selling sex is still criminalised in many countries. These workers couldn’t even pay taxes if they wanted to. As a result, they have no income records and are consequently, eligible for the bare basics if they are lucky, which doesn’t count to much. This, most significantly, hits those with dependents such as children the hardest.
We need to fight the effects of coronavirus together
There has never been a time in living memory where we need to stick together as much as we do now. Society marginalises sex workers at the best of times. There are many that are being especially forgotten now. Reach out to your friends and fellow sex workers. If you are in a privileged position and able to donate funding or supplies, reach out to your local sex worker charities to see how you can help. Governments are prioritising physical health and finances at the moment, for good reason. However, mental health matters and there are many that are hugely suffering. Set up communication groups on messenger apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp to support each other. If you can’t provide goods or money, offer your time and an ear to listen. There will be sex workers you know really struggling.
Feel free to contact us if you are a sex worker affected
This storm shall pass, but it will be a long, and tough road. What will keep us going and what we will remember many years from now, is any acts of compassion or kindness. Events can get fuzzy but we ALWAYS remember how something, or someone, made us feel. Be that great memory to someone if you can. If you need a great memory, reach out. There are many people out there that empathise and sympathise. Contact us, if you want. We have a huge network internationally and will do anything we can to help find appropriate resources in your area.