Lovers kissing with face masks

During the world’s last great health crisis, Thailand won praise for a condom-promotion campaign that helped prevent AIDS from devastating a promiscuous population. Now, amidst the coronavirus plague, the government has taken that same strategy to ludicrous extremes.

Safe sex, in the time of Covid-19, requires more than just condoms. Lovers need face masks and rubber gloves, according to the Public Health Ministry flyer posted online Monday. The public reacted as though it were a mad dream.

Minister Anutin Charnvirakul’s Puritans of public health, who apparently leapt over the arduous cavalry of conjugal life long ago, told lovers and married couples that there should be no kissing, no swapping of spit of any sort. Even oral sex was deemed a no-no, although it remains unexplained how the virus would enter through nether-region orifices.

The aged ex-generals, whose find their titillation in the gentlemen’s clubs of Thonglor where the calamitous third wave formed, want others having as little sex as possible. If it has to happen, it should be brief and be done without face-to-face contact. Yet anal sex also is frowned upon. It seems there really is no greater glory (hole) than to die for love.

But when a woman decides to sleep with a man, there is no wall she will not scale, no fortress she will not destroy, no moral consideration she will not ignore at its very root: there is no virus worth worrying about.

For these woman (and men), it’s time to slip on some rubber gloves, a face mask – or is that two? – and a condom (only one please). And once the deed is done, those all must be thrown away – preferably in a red infectious waste bag – and the bed/sofa/kitchen table doused with 70 percent alcohol, bleach or some other disinfectant. Of course, a shower with soap is needed as well.

Love in the time of Covid is not easy. For those who have no paramour, the options are few. No one is swiping right on unvaccinated Tinder. The soapies and go-go bars are closed. And, the health ministry warned, getting some hot stuff delivered could land you in jail – not for prostitution (those laws are still being ignored) but for violating the Emergency Decree’s prohibition against behavior that could spread the virus, even if you’re wearing rubber gloves.