Queensland, Australia has a few new COVID-19 policies that are raising a few eyebrows and getting a few laughs. They tell people what they can and cannot do at specific events and places.
For starters, gatherings at homes and public spaces are limited to 10 people in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas, but as many as 30 people can gather in the rest of the state.
Second, Queensland has prohibited guests from dancing at a wedding. Only the newly-married couple and their parents may dance.
Third, people are still allowed to gather at private sex clubs and planned sex parties.
You can probably still dance there, provided you take the usual precautions, like wearing personal protective equipment.
In other words, if you hook up with someone at a wedding, you can't dance with them, but you can take them to a sex party afterward. Just remember to wear a mask.
I imagine some couples are having awkward conversations in northeast Australia.
"Honey, I have a confession to make. I, uh, I went to my friend's wedding last week, and I danced with someone. It was just one dance, and I swear it didn't mean anything, but I, uh, think you need to get tested. For the coronavirus."
The Queensland Health Department said their goal was to balance the state's response while "keeping life as normal as possible."
I don't know if I would call this "life as normal as possible" though.
I'm not trying to shame anyone, because it's no one's business if people lead a sex-positive lifestyle. If Queensland Health wants to swing with the Department of Transport and Main Roads while seeing Agriculture and Fisheries on the side, who am I to stand in their way?
I mean, I had always hoped Health would live happily ever after with Regional Development and Manufacturing, but I'm just a romantic at heart.
Normal or not, Queensland Health does consider sex clubs and parties to be high risk, and they want people to be cautious. The plan — called "COVID Safe Industry Plan: Queensland Sex on Premises Venues and Adult Parties" — is filled with helpful strategies to help people reduce their risk of catching the virus.
For one thing, they recommend the clubs take steps to screen guests, do contact tracing, and keep thorough records. They also recommend cleaning surfaces and implements and regularly doing laundry.
I'd like to think they've been doing this all along, and that Queensland Health is being extra thorough, but now I'm worried that this is new information to people.
I mean, we all know we should wash our dishes after we eat dinner on them, right? No one has to tell you not to reuse them for breakfast the next morning, right? So why would the health department tell you to wash your dishes after every use?
The report also recommends that sex clubs follow the "4-square meter rule," which allows each person to have 4 square meters of space, and now I don't think Queensland Health quite understands how sex parties work.
In fact, I don't think the Queensland Government sees the contradiction between their two policies.
Nik Edser, a wedding entertainer, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the no dancing rule is hurting the wedding industry's photographers, florists, and stylists.
Photographers, florists, and stylists for the sex club industry seem to be doing okay though. It makes me wonder if the sex club patrons are secretly dancing.
Edser said, "(These) are a private event where I feel it should be allowed between family and friends."
I keep forgetting he's referring to dancing.
"When people want to dance, they'll dance, and if we don't give them a safe option, that's the risk."
Seriously, take the word "dance" out of that sentence, and it's easy to get confused.
Edser says he appreciates the need for social distancing, but he thinks the Queensland State Government should consider finding an alternative to the dancing ban. He says Queensland has very low case numbers and that they could lighten up the restrictions.
Still, this is how the epidemic started in the first place: The disease spread among people who didn't practice safe dancing.
So remember, Queensland, when you dance with a stranger at a wedding, you're dancing with every other guest that person has danced with.
Photo credit: StockSnap (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)