Hug curtains seem like a sweet way to hug loved ones—but they may not actually be safe

Thanks to the physical distance we've been asked to keep in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus, we're all missing out on normal social interactions. We miss seeing our loved ones faces up close. We miss sitting at a dinner table with our extended family members. We miss hugging them.

Those of us who are huggers have been particularly put out by this major lifestyle change. Some people's primary love language is physical touch and affection. The idea of not being able to express it adds an extra layer of stress over an already difficult situation.

So people are getting creative. However, in the age of coronavirus, creativity might not be the best idea.


A 10-year-old girl in California built a "hug curtain" so she could hug her grandparents and surprised them at their front door. Made from a plastic sheet, some paper plates cut into rings and plastic sleeves, the curtain seems to allow people to be physically close without exposing one another to the potential virus.

Another person shared a similar set up in a backyard, using a clothesline. The daughter's joyful laughter while she hugs her mama just illustrates how wonderful being able to hug someone can be.

Others have created similar hugging barriers from shower curtains to PVC pipes placed in their yards.

However, one health expert is cautioning people against the "hug curtain" idea. Houston Health Authority and Medical Director, Dr. David Persse, told investigative reporters at KHOU-11:

"While I very much sympathize with the desire to embrace loved ones, especially during this challenging time, there is no adequate substitution for social distancing. A shower curtain hug, while creative, unfortunately, does not offer the level of protection needed to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Although I understand the concept, a shower curtain is not personal protective equipment and using it as such includes the potential for exposure."

Watch the investigative report here:

VERIFY: Hug curtains are a thing, but are they safe? www.youtube.com

There seems to be a short of virologists and public health officials sharing their thoughts on the hug curtain idea—they're probably all a little busy right now. But at the very least, the idea should be approached with a healthy dose of caution.

We're all being asked to sacrifice for the greater good right now and that's difficult. Most of us are trying to heed the advice of public health experts to limit the spread of the virus by maintaining social distancing, even as some areas start to lift lockdown restrictions. While many of us could use a hug right now, we have to ask ourselves if it's worth the risk.

None of this is easy, but we may need to hold out a little longer before we start hugging our friends and family again, curtain or no curtain.

True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Sarita Linda Rocco / Facebook

Americans are more interested in politics than ever these days. More voted in the 2020 election than in any other in the past 100 years. Over 65% of the voting-eligible cast a ballot in the contentious fight between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

"People are very excited and paying attention even though there are all this bad news and high 'wrong track' numbers in the country," Nancy Zdunkewicz, managing editor at Democracy Corps, told The Hill.

It's wonderful to see that a greater number of Americans are standing up to be counted and demanding their voices be heard. But it's also the symptom of a deep level of discontent many people feel about their country.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
via Stone Gasman / Twitter

While generational stereotypes don't apply to everyone, there are significant differences between how Baby Boomers (1944 to 1964), Gen X (1965 to 1980), and Millenials (1981 to 1996) were raised.

Baby Boomers tended to grow up in homes where one parent stayed home and the other worked outside of the house. Millennials are known for having over-involved "helicopter" parents.

Then, there's Gen X.

The smaller, cooler generation that, according to a 2004 marketing study "went through its all-important, formative years as one of the least parented, least nurtured generations in U.S. history."

Keep Reading Show less

The U.S. Surgeon General credits the new surge in COVID cases to "pandemic fatigue," but it's nothing compared to what healthcare workers on the frontlines are going through. TIME recently reported that nurses are experiencing burnout, but it often goes unseen. A nurse recently employed a social media trend to draw attention to the behind the scenes fatigue.

An ICU nurse posted her own "how it started/how it's going" photo on Twitter, and long story short, it's not going that great. The before photo of Kathryn, an ICU nurse in Nashville, was taken in the middle of April right after she completed nursing school. The after photo revealed just how much literal sweat and tears healthcare workers put in while treating people during the pandemic.


Keep Reading Show less