The world is going through a very hard time right now. Covid-19 is present in 177 countries and territories at the time of writing. The United Nations recognises 251 in total so it is clear this is a virus that is impacting the entire globe, one way or another. The fallout is huge. Primarily, the physical and emotional toll is proving challenging.
Europe is currently taking huge hit, with Italy being first bombarded. This was due to a number of factors. Milan, the capital of Lombardy, the worst affected region in the country, had direct flights from Wuhan, China, the widely acknowledged ‘ground zero’ for the virus. Furthermore, China suppressed news of the outbreak for some time and therefore, Italy was completely unprepared due to lack of information. These factors, combined with Italy having the oldest population in the world after Japan is creating apocalyptic scenes within the healthcare system and medics are at crisis point. Spain was next to catch up with Italy’s statistics and the UK is now hard hit. This is a situation that is evolving, daily.
Where the economic fallout could go
Outside of the physical impact is the economic impact. Unfortunately, the financial cost will not become clear until after things have started to calm down. Most experts have warned we are entering a global recession, even a depression. How this will affect the strip club industry is anyone’s guess. Without a doubt, not all businesses will survive the storm across all sectors. Furthermore, different countries are providing a variety of levels of assistance so all is not equal. The UK government, for example, is providing salaries, tax breaks and ordered mortgage suspensions. All provided to support small businesses through this incredibly challenging time. This isn’t to say that this situation could trigger a wave of club closures, limiting the options available to dancers.
There is no doubt this is a concerning time for strippers, club owners, staff and all associated industries that rely on clubs being open. However, we are all in this together and we are all in the same position. The best way to get through this is to support each other as, like all storms, this shall pass.
You are not alone
This situation is affecting the industry worldwide. This situation is not even limited to the strip club industry alone. Life is peaks and troughs and, although this is a major trough, there will be a peak. Millions of people are currently quarantined throughout the world. There is no answer as to when this will end. If we consult the sequence of events in earlier hit countries such as China and South Korea, we can reasonably expect quarantines to last at least 8 weeks before they are marginally lifted. Yes, we know there is a high probability of a global recession, but no doubt the psychology of the masses will be tentative relief. It will be natural after regaining freedoms that have universally been taken for granted throughout the western world.
If there is a rush of business when the restrictions are lifted in your locality, take advantage. Put that money away, work as hard as possible and make as much as is available to prepare for the potential dip in business when the economic fallout becomes clear. Save, invest and make sure you are being smart about your future. As somebody who worked through the 2008 financial crash, there is no comparison in this scenario. The last recession was a steep, but still gradual drop in earnings. Covid-19 has shut down businesses overnight. Now, more than ever, dancers (and sex workers in other industries) need to make thoughtful decisions.
Riding the wave
Those that will ride this wave with minimal impact are those that will be able to adapt. If you are struggling with payments right now, the first thing you should do is contact your providers. With the extent and severity of this situation, many are providing relief to customers. There may be options to get payment holidays or alternative timetables to cover the urgent bills. Communicate fully and see what you can negotiate. You are a professional at getting the best deal so use those transferable skills you learnt at work!
Many countries have set up moratoriums on evictions that will ensure you are safe. Fully research and keep up to date with the policies being implemented in your part of the world to aid citizens through this crisis. If you have regulars, get in touch with them. See if they can pre-pay for some time to be cashed in once things become safer or if they can support you with a gift.
Explore alternative ways you can make money with the resources available. Many people are stuck at home with the internet right now. The webcam business is picking up speed. There has, however, been a rush of dancers moving into the digital sphere with the mass club closures. Therefore, there is more custom but also more competition. Webcam and content selling can be lucrative, but aren’t instant cash like stripping. You will need to persevere to build an audience but they are there with funds.
Stay safe, no matter what
Please prioritise your safety over anything else. Covid-19 does not just impact the old and vulnerable. There have been cases of young, ‘healthy’ people dying or having long terms organ damage as the result of having the virus. Many will recover with mild or no symptoms, but it truly is Russian Roulette on if you will be the camp that reacts badly. STAY HOME. Allow the healthcare services to handle the wave of infections they are currently, or soon to be handling and give them space.
Do not hold private parties, do not arrange dates and isolate as much as possible. No amount of money or bills is worth your health and wellbeing. If you are the minority that react badly to the virus and struggle to get a space in oversubscribed hospitals, it could affect your earning ability permanently. Short term struggle for long term safety should always be at the front of your mind.
Remember, we are all in this together and we WILL get through this. Stay safe, keep your loved ones safe and the more we take care of our immediate future, the better our long term prospects will look overall.