by Dave Rodney, Caribbean Times Writer
The statistics are frightening. In New York City alone, the number of confirmed infections from Coronavirus rose to almost 50,000 by Wednesday night, and at least 1941 people have died so far in the state. 
With millions of New Yorkers locked indoors as a safety precaution, the city is taking no chances.  One of the organizations tasked with keeping residents safe, the New York Health Department,  has issued guidelines on enjoying sex safely during the coronavirus crisis. 
While the bulletin concedes that not everything is known about coronavirus and sex, it warns all New Yorkers to stay home and minimize contact with others to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 
“We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19 and sex, but the virus can be spread through direct contact with saliva and mucus”, the alert outlined. “Kissing can easily pass on the virus, so avoid kissing anyone who is not part of your small circle of close contacts. COVID-9 has not yet been found in semen or vaginal fluid”. it added.  
You are your safest sex partner

“You are you safest sex partner”, the alert advised.  “Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands and any sex toys with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex. The next safest sex partner during Coronavirus is someone you live with.  You should avoid close contact — including sex — with anyone outside your household. If you do have sex with others, have as few partners as possible.  If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, consider taking a break from in-person dates. Video dates, sexting or chat rooms may be options for you.  And disinfect keyboards and touch screens that you share with others (for video chat, for watching pornography or for anything else). 
 A telephone love

The coronavirus sex guide was released a few days ago, and Jamaicans in the New York tri-state region were quick to respond to the unusual suggestions. A young Jamaican in New York, Rhythm Piink, a rising hip hop &dancehall diva who has toured with the iconic Major Lazer and who appeared in the Mavado/ Nicki Minaj music video “Give It All To Me”  is in agreement with the guidelines and chimed in. “As a hip hop & dancehall influencer in New York, it is very important in these times to highlight safety precautions. Phone sex, or what reggae singer J C Lodge called telephone love back in the day is now a big rage. Face Time is the new private pleasure palace for most couples, singles and side chicks because of social distancing. And a tip to the females who love oral sex- it should be practiced safely with condoms”. 

Caribbean Times spoke with several other Caribbean residents in New York to see how the Coronavirus plight had affected them personally. Rocky Hes, a print and runway model in Manhattan whispered her thoughts. ” During this time of Covid-19, being locked down is okay for me because I am a loner 90% of the time. I was abstaining before the outbreak anyway so I don’t feel like I am missing out. I am saving myself for marriage”. 
Raheem World, 23, is a recent finance and marketing graduate in Brooklyn, and a former student of the Edna Manley School of the Visual & Performing Arts in Kingston. “I can’t date right now and I am not taking any chances with this very contagious virus.  I still want to have fun, so I ordered a few adult toys by fast delivery to tide me over the quarantine period”, he revealed. “Normally Amazon Prime arrives in two days and the order hasn’t showed up yet from a week ago so maybe they are extremely busy”, the Portmore native added. “And sometimes to ease the urge, I also transfer my sexual energies to reading and building a youtube channel”. 
Charles Mills, 42, is married with 3 kids in Long Island. He is practicing Seventh Day Adventist church member and a real estate investor and his wife is a nurse on the front line at a local hospital. “The good part is that when my wife comes home from work she strips naked in the garage to get rid of the hospital clothing, and I have to bring her a robe, so that is exciting. The bad part is that with the current uncertainty with the economy, we don’t want more kids right now and sex is very limited.  And with 3 kids on our hands, when it does happen it has to be very late when the children are asleep”, Miller divulged. 
Side chicks getting kicked 

Vanessa Underwood, 28,  is from the US Virgin Islands and she works as a part-time host at a popular city restaurant and bar. Her earnings from tips vary from week to week depending on traffic volume at games and events but this has never been an issue as her three Brooklyn paramours, all married men, are only too happy to help. But suddenly, things have changed for her. “I am mad as hell. The restaurant has been closed for over two weeks so income is down to zero. The strip clubs are closed too, and my boyfriends are not taking my calls as they are locked away at home with there wives and kids. I feel like a prisoner trapped in a cage with no release date. I am not up to speed on computer camming and I don’t know what I am going to do”, she sobbed. “Side chicks are getting kicked”.
Mr. Vassell O’Gilvie, a licensed Jamaican psychotherapist from Manchester who has a practice in New York agrees with the city guidelines and had this to say, “Sex is a natural part of human life and folks are going to have sex no matter what. So those who work in the sex industry will continue to work for financial needs. My advice is to take all necessary precautions that entail safety for yourself and your customer or partner. It is imperative that PPE be used (condoms, masks, sanitizer, gloves), but most importantly, use common sense too”. 


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