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Condoms are selling out because people are wearing them on their fingers to protect from coronavirus

Josh Milton March 5, 2020
Panicked members of the public have clogged supermarkets and pharmacies to stock-up on condoms amid the coronavirus epidemic. (Facebook/Twitter)

Panicked members of the public have clogged supermarkets and pharmacies to stock-up on condoms amid the coronavirus epidemic. (Facebook/Twitter)

There were two things in the man’s supermarket trolley: 16 boxes of condoms and large tub of coconut oil.

People around the world have scrambled into grocers and drug stores to stock up on protective gear as the coronavirus scare surges.

But some have interpreted the “protective” to in a rather creative way; panic-purchasing condoms and putting them on their fingers so they can push lift buttons in public buildings.

This is the world we live in.

Why are people buying condoms?

The new trend – spotted in Australia and Singapore, so far – has seen shelves once packed with condom boxes barren and empty. Baskets are being packed with packets of condoms as paranoia surrounding COVID-19 reaches its climax.

One-fingered gloves have been shooting off the shelves according to Facebook and Twitter users. Australian Thanh Thai took to Facebook to post a picture of the empty shelves captioning it: “Can anybody please tell me what happened.”

The empty condom shelf was shared on an Australian Facebook group. (Facebook)
The empty condom shelf was shared on an Australian Facebook group. (Facebook)

Fellow parents on the Ryde District Mums page, according to The Daily Mirror, had the unfortunate honour of using their finite time on this planet hurtling around the sun to tell her why this was the case.

One parent explained: “There has been some stupid post telling people to put condoms on their fingers to push buttons, et cetera.”

Moreover, according to DimSum Daily, citizens have even emptied the condom shelves in Singapore, too.

The contagious virus – measuring roughly one-900th the width of a human hair – tends to hitch a ride on viral droplets that house it, experts say.

The virus can last on bus poles, touch screens and lift buttons from between two hours and nine days. While a simple disinfectant wipe can, experts say, break the delicate virus, some Singapore citizens are protecting themselves in this rather unique way.

Queues of people are spilling out of most supermarkets across the world as shopper frantically hoard household essentials such as toilet paper, antibacterial wipes, heaving bags of rice and, of course, condoms.

COVID-19, a strain of coronavirus believed to have originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, has spread across the globe. More than 96,000 have acquired the infection, while more than 3,300 have died, according to worldwide data pooled from health authorities.

New hubs of transmission have emerged in Italy, Iran and South Korea. Yet even in countries not wrestling with the virus, panicked members of the public have begun to take precautionary measures.

Such as, apparently, sweeping supermarkets, medical clinics newsagents of condoms.

2020, everyone.

More: Australia, condoms, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Singapore

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