Of the many ways COVID-19 has changed American life, social distancingis among the toughest for many people to bear. Humans are social animals, hard-wired to crave touch and interaction. So it’s only natural that, as caution fatigue sets in and social-distancing guidelines in many places are extended into the indeterminate future, even well-intentioned people are looking for loopholes that allow them to reunite with loved ones.
But is there any safe way to see family or friends while following social-distancing guidelines?
“There’s no magic answer to that question,” says Jason Farley, a professor and nurse epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Schools of Nursing and Medicine.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially recommends that people “avoid gatherings of any size outside your household, such as [in] a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops, or any other place.” That’s especially important for people who are sick; know or suspect they’ve been exposed to COVID-19; are in a high-risk group, like the elderly or immune-compromised; or live with someone who fits into any of these categories.
Excerpted from Time