The precautionary measures suggested for the novel coronavirus don't leave a lot of room for social interaction. From sports matches playing out in empty stadiums to "cancelled sex parties" the repercussions have been frequent and hard hitting.

At a time when you're being discouraged from travelling, or indeed leaving your house or coming in contact with others, some organisations can empathise. Well, after a fashion.

Adult site Pornhub has recently made even premium content free for those stuck in isolation in Italy. According to a press released shared by the website, it will be donating all earnings from its Modelhub platform to help the country in its fight against coronavirus.

"To help you during these weeks at home, for the whole months you can access PornHub Premium free of charge, with no need for using your credit card," the press release added.

Pornhub is not the only one offering this new scheme. According to a VICE article that quotes Alex Hawkins, the spokesperson of xHamster, claimed that following a February offer by the company to provide free premium access to regions severely affected by the virus, there had been a surge in signups, far outpacing the company's ability to approve these new accounts.

Netizens appear to be rather pleased at this development, with some jokingly commenting that they were now looking to shift to Italy. Others suggested that Pornhub's traffic would now increase exponentially.

"Humanity always comes together at times of tragedy," wrote one Twitter user. Another was quick to recommend the use of a VPN to overcome any geographical obstacles.

Not everyone was pleased however. To quote one Twitter user, "We do not want money from those who live on people's weaknesses and perversions. From Italy, we are strong enough. Our soul is not for sale."

But if we are to talk about strange viewership choices, how can we not mention the new trend on pornographic websites? People in hazmat suits and masks are apparently the new favourite thing, at least for some people.

Be it a deserted street in Wuhan or a medical facility or even a public place where the actors are detained over suspicion of having the virus -- coronavirus porn is now a very real thing, and the available content is gradually increasing.

But if you think this is a fad, merely for the sake of titillation, guess again. The videos often come with informative nuggets that would make health organisations proud. It describes the virus and its effects, how one can protect themselves and more. Of course, the films then deviate in a very different direction, but then that is what people came to the site for in the first place.

Not everything tagged with 'coronavirus' is, for lack of a better word, authentic on these sites. Many videos feature vague mentions of COVID-19 and nothing that connects to the global pandemic in the video itself.

But viewership numbers on porn websites are not the only ones doing well at present. According to reports, as the WHO termed the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and the number of affected people rose, so did the sale of sex toys in various parts of the world.

The virus responsible for COVID-19 has so far spread to 116 countries and territories in all continents save Antarctica. Over 4,900 people have died and more than 1,30,000 cases have so far been recorded.

In India, there are at present 75 people who have tested positive, with many others being isolated and quarantined.

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Free Press Journal