The world has already transitioned into panic about Covid-19. Widespread social, political, and economic disruptions have developed. Hard-hit countries, as we noted last week, have responded with a similar blueprint of shutting down their economies for virus containment purposes.
Social distancing has been one of the most widely enforced policies by governments, imposed on their citizens to mitigate the spread of the highly contagious disease. As a result, sex workers in many countries have seen their incomes crash as clients abide by the new public health policies, reported Vice News.
Let's first start with defining social distancing. It's a public health practice that aims to reduce disease transmission, including canceling large public gatherings, closing public spaces, working from home, and avoiding other people. The purpose is to slow down the outbreak to reduce the rate of infections and to reduce overwhelming the health care system.
Sex workers, many of which depend on the intimate physical interaction of their clients to get paid, are warning that social distancing could leave them penniless in the near term:
"A lot of sex workers are freaking out right now," said Andrea Werhun, 30, a stripper based in Toronto.
Multiple sex workers told VICE their clientele volumes at clubs had seen a notable drop since social distancing policies have been implemented across North America.
"I feel like my career as a dancer is in jeopardy as it becomes increasingly less viable to hang out in crowds, which is kind of what I do every Friday and Saturday night in order to make money," Werhun said.
Werhun said businessmen are a considerable part of her client book. Still, since corporations have told employees to work remotely and restrict travel – this has led to the decline in her business. She said strippers don't have the luxury of a salary or sick days:
"It's a big, big blow," she said. "Locals and regulars are keeping sex workers afloat right now."
Werhun has thought about diversifying to live streaming performances at home if a nationwide lockdown was seen.
She has yet to screen clients who could be carriers of the disease. Community spreading has already taken place in major metro areas in North America; the true extent of the spread is still unknown as test kits lack.
Amanda Winters, 27, a stripper based in Miami, told VICE she started stripping to pay off student loans, and now she's struggling to make ends meet as clients avoid clubs out of fear, they might contract the virus.
"I am getting more concerned about my financial situation," Winters said. "On a stable schedule, I often would have two to four good clients a night...the past week—going on two now—I have had one full client."
Winters said if the business at the Miami club remains low – she might be forced to live stream at home.
Taylor Stevens, 29, a diversified stripper bouncing between Toronto and Las Vegas, has live stream shows that are doing well. She said in recent weeks, traffic volume from Italy was off the charts.
Toronto dominatrix Lady Pim told Vice she's preparing for a Covid-19 downturn and has diversified her sex work.
"It's kind of looking like parts of Canada could go into a time where we aren't going to be able to leave our houses—then, your livelihood might be threatened, like, I'm not on salary, I don't have sick days," said Lady Pim.
"My sex work is diversified. I will still make a portion of my income doing it from home with Skype sessions, texting dominations, and phone call dominations, so a quarantine wouldn't lead to a complete loss in income," she said.
Lady Pim said quarantines would drive people to pay for online sex:
It's severe up in here. pic.twitter.com/afDZrKb1oS— Lady Pim (@TheLadyPim1) March 9, 2020
"If we're in lockdown—just by ourselves, don't have a partner, and don't have any sex or kink outlets—then I can 100 percent see people turning around to do a Skype session or phone session."
Smart strippers are now diversifying their sex work before a "coronavirus winter" leads to mass quarantines and an economic crash.