Hey China, Maybe It’s Too Soon to Hold Kissing Contests While the Rest of Us Deal With Coronavirus?


Hey China, Maybe It’s Too Soon to Hold Kissing Contests While the Rest of Us Deal With Coronavirus?

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

A factory in China figured the best way to celebrate its reopening following the corona outbreak was to organise a contest to help people kiss their worries away. Yep, a good ol’ smooch to dissipate all the lockdown-induced stress and replace it with the feel-good hormones instead. But since the Chinese government hasn’t completely lifted off its imposed restrictions, it only made sense that the participants who were invited to kiss were separated by plexiglass to practise social distancing.

It all sounds like a recipe for disaster waiting to happen.

Yueya, the furniture manufacturing factory in the city of Suzhou in East China’s Jiangsu province, invited 10 couples to take part in the bizarre kissing contest. Photos and videos from the event are being widely circulated online, showing factory members wearing boiler suits at one of the 10 stations, only separated by a clear pane of glass to avoid the exchange of saliva.

Some of the participants are reportedly married.

According to 7 News, a video of the contest has been viewed over 10 million times on Chinese social media platforms and has sparked outrage online.

Many users criticised the factory unit for their reckless decision that eschews social distancing guidelines in the time of coronavirus. On Weibo, known as China’s Twitter, a hashtag about the questionable event has been viewed over 140 million times.

Mr Ma, the owner of the manufacturing facility, reasoned that the glass had been positioned between the participants to minimise threat of an infection. He pointed out to the local media that some of the participants were married couples who worked in the factory, and the stress of the pandemic “might cause mistakes in the production process”.

“That’s why I arranged the kissing contest to make everyone happy,” Mr Ma concluded.

Although Mr Ma was of the opinion that placing a piece of plexiglass between the participants and disinfecting the said prop with alcohol multiple times, was the bare minimum safety measure needed, social media criticised this whole act on noticing that his employees seemingly failed to maintain the recommended distance of at least 3 feet.

Despite the employees seeming in high spirits as seen in the footage, the online community called the event “tasteless” while the rest of our emotions can be summarised in one tweet:

The irony wasn’t lost on some others.

Titus Andromedon expresses the “WTF” energy  just right.