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.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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