As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit nations’ economies hard, companies are implementing ‘home office arrangements’ by way of social distancing to help break the chain of the virus’ spread, commercial sex workers (ashawo) say their means of survival has been shuttered.
Sex workers (ashawo) in Nigeria’s Delta State have decried the situation as patronage has dropped for fear of having contact with an unsuspecting carrier of the disease.
There is more or less a moratorium on sexual activities in this period as the virus has created paranoia among people who cannot figure out immediately who is carrying the disease or not.
Gistreel.com reported an Assistant Manager of one of the five-star hotels on Mariam Babangida Way in Asaba, Mr Godwin Johnson as having told ThePunch that the disease had put his job on the line.
A club attendant on the popular DBS Road in Asaba who identified herself simply as Vidal said 10 out the 22 workers at their “Rock and Roll” organisation risked losing their jobs.
“Since the disease hit Nigeria through Lagos State and Abuja, and government emphasised restricted access at air and seaports, and banned mass gathering, offering of social amenities and playing of danceable music at clubs drastically dropped within Asaba metropolis. The aftermath is the job insecurity we have been plunged into,”
Vidal said sex workers (ashawo) have been recording low patronage since the outbreak of the disease as customers have suddenly lost interest resorted to social distancing.
Meanwhile, a proprietor of an establishment that provides accommodation, foods and drinks on DBS Road, who pleaded anonymity, expressed optimism despite the challenges.
“We overcame Ebola, Monkey-pox, and Lassa fever as a nation. Coronavirus will not be an exception. The spread has seriously affected nightlife. Male customers have stayed away, female counterparts are lonely. There is low patronage now,”
After Nigeria recorded its cases of the deadly coronavirus and infections continue to increase, schools, parks, markets, clubhouses and recreational centres have been deserted for fear of contracting the disease.