Just over 40 percent of the U.S. population has now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. With that, many states are dropping restrictions and allowing people to get back to normal activities. In the U.K., “cautious hugging” has been recommended as families reunite. What is “cautious hugging,” and is it a good way to make sure our parents keep avoiding the virus?
Cautious Hugging Explained
When cautious hugging was mentioned, scientists came out and said there really is no way to hug someone without potentially passing on the virus. The only way to continue avoiding the virus is by staying a safe distance away.
The idea behind cautious hugging is to be careful when hugging others. Don’t get right into the other person’s face when you embrace and minimize skin-to-skin contact.
If you’re going to see your parents for the first time in months, avoid being in areas where the spread of COVID-19 is more likely. Don’t go to a crowded bar and then see your parents a few days later. Allow time to ensure that you’re not immediately passing it on to them if you did pick up the virus.
Keeping that in mind, you can lower the risk of having an asymptomatic person from passing on the virus. Make sure your parents are vaccinated. Don’t let them hug everyone. They should keep hugs to those who have also been vaccinated and who do things that help lower the risk of the virus, such as washing hands and social distancing.
Get Back to Normal Without Losing Sight of All That’s Happened
As you get back to normal activities, don’t forget everything that’s happened over the year. While people wore masks out in public and remained socially distant, flu and cold rates drastically declined. Wearing a mask when you’re out shopping or in a crowded place isn’t a bad idea.
Keep washing your hands regularly. It’s the best way to stop the spread of germs. If you’re out shopping and finish paying your bill at the register, immediately put on hand sanitizer until you get home and can wash your hands.
Stay Home If You’re Sick
If you feel sick, stay home. Your parents may need your help every day, but it’s more important to keep them safe. Talk to a home care agency about respite care services. Have caregivers go to your parents’ house and help them each day or week.
Give yourself time to recover. The general rule with COVID was to wait a full 14 days or more. Recovery from the flu can also take that long. Don’t rush it and get back to your parents’ house when you’re still contagious. Have caregivers available to help out until you’ve felt better and had no symptoms for several days.