Ireland’s National Health Service urges “phone sex only” during pandemic

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In yet more coronavirus lockdown absurdity, the Republic of Ireland is telling young people to stop having sex in order to stop the spread of the pandemic. 

Instead, health officials with Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) are urging that people should only have phone sex while foregoing the real deal. This is not The Onion, but words from a newly distributed HSE leaflet on coronavirus safety measures:

“If you decide to be sexually active with someone living outside of your household, limit it to as few partners as possible, preferably one regular partner. Consider masturbation or remote sexual activity (eg, online) as alternative to physical sexual activity with others.”

It also advised that in the case of sex with a partner living in your house to “wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after any sexual activity.”

The leaflets are being posted at pharmacies, clinics, and public buildings throughout the country in response to fears that growing coronavirus case numbers are being driven by asymptomatic young people who are spurning social distancing measures.

The government is also giving out free “sexual health protection packs” which include a condom, strongly suggesting that health officials don’t actually think many Irish will follow its “phone sex only” advice during the pandemic.

https://twitter.com/ellenmcoyne/status/1290186863987261440?s=20

As expected, the bizarre official advisory resulted in widespread scorn and mockery online. “The Irish government promoting masturbation is not something I expected to see. Ever,” one social media response was quoted as saying.

“So we can’t stand beside each other, c [sic] each others faces, shake hands, have a drink together, look at each other, breathe fresh air, watch live sport or have sex. I have an answer, f**k off,” another said.

Currently Ireland has over 26,000 cases of COVID-19, with a moderate increase observed in the past weeks.

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