Oregon health officials want residents to practice safe sex during the coronavirus outbreak — and are using emoji to get the point across.
This week, the state released a public service announcement designed to help people stay safe when being romantic during the pandemic. As the New York Post reported, the state tweeted an infographic that used popular emoji to depict how people can prevent spreading the virus in their love life.
As the report noted, people across social media seemed to love the graphic, with many sharing and some leaving racy comments.
“This is the horniest psa i’ve ever seen and i love it,” one person wrote.
Like a similarly viral PSA that New York City released last month, Oregon’s advisement told people that the best and safest sex during the coronavirus outbreak was solo, or with a partner who has shared quarantine. It identified a few of the riskiest forms of sex to avoid, and advised people to wash their hands for 20 seconds both before and after sex.
Oregon also warned people to practice what it called “selective kissing,” only being intimate with a small group of people.
Health experts have warned that the coronavirus spreads easily through respiratory functions, with coughing transmitting the virus through the air and on surfaces. They have advised that diligent hand-washing — with any form of soap, as both the mechanics and soap bubbles can render the virus immobile — is the best and safest way to stop transmission. They also advise social distancing, calling on people to remain in their homes as much as possible and away from any large groups.
The safe-sex PSA from New York City also warned against any romantic activity with groups of people, telling residents to stay within “a small circle of people” for their sexual encounters. It cautioned against online dating, noting that people could be particularly susceptible if they are in contact with strangers, but noted that technology could be a good alternative to in-person dates.
“Video dates, sexting or chat rooms may be options for you,” the memo said.
The state of Oregon has just a fraction of the coronavirus cases of New York City, which has become the epicenter of the viral outbreak in the United States. Through Friday, there were more than 1,300 cases of coronavirus reported in the entire state of Oregon. New York City had more than 87,000 cases, with the death toll in the city surpassing 5,000.