Q. During these difficult times should people abstain from conjugal relations, as the Talmud teaches in regard to times of hunger?
A. Indeed Shulchan Aruch (O.H. 574: 4 and 240: 12) and Rambam (H. Taaniyos 3: 8) rule that one should abstain (assur) from marital relations in times of famine with some exceptions. Rema ibid mentions that it includes also times of other “tzaaros” or hardships and crisis. It serves an act of identification and empathy with the distressful feelings of many. (Mishna Berura ibid,)
However, Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that our present covid 19 situation (3/27/20), does not qualify for the above prohibition.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a.