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The COVID-19 pandemic has placed many sex workers in a particularly difficult situation. Like other precarious workers, sex workers generally cannot access labour protections such as paid sick leave and unemployment insurance. Many of us are experiencing loss of income due to appointment cancellations, decreased demand for services, workplace closures, and sickness. Since sex industry jobs do not offer a salary, sick days, or benefits, there is little to no safety net for sex workers when we are unable to work.
While social distancing is strongly advised, it is particularly challenging for contact sex workers (full service workers, strippers, massage workers, professional dominants, etc), queer and trans sex workers, Black and Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC) workers at the margins, and otherwise low-income workers to adhere to these recommendations. This is because the loss of income that would result from such social distancing measures prevents them from working, and makes the difference between affording basic needs such as food, medicine, childcare, rent, etc.