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.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Amelia J / Twitter

Election Day is a special occasion where Americans of all walks of life come together to collectively make important decisions about the country's future. Although we do it together as a community, it's usually a pretty formal affair.

People tend to stand quietly in line, clutching their voter guides. Politics can be a touchy subject, so most usually stand in line like they're waiting to have their number called at the DMV.

However, a group of voters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received a lot of love on social media on Sunday for bringing a newfound sense of joy to the voting process.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Former President George W. Bush and current president Donald Trump may both be Republicans but they have contrasting views when it comes to immigration.

Trump has been one of the most anti-immigrant presidents of recent memory. His Administration separated undocumented families at the border, placed bans on travelers from majority-Muslim countries, and he's proudly proclaimed, "Our country is full."

George W. Bush's legacy on immigration is a bit more nuanced. He ended catch-and-release and called for heightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he also championed an immigration bill that created a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.

Unfortunately, that bill did not pass.

Keep Reading Show less

Ah, the awkward joy of school picture day. Most of us had to endure the unnatural positioning, the bright light shining in our face, and the oddly ethereal backgrounds that mark the annual ritual. Some of us even have painfully humorous memories to go along with our photos.

While entertaining school picture day stories are common, one mom's tale of her daughter's not-picture-perfect school photo is winning people's hearts for a funny—but also inspiring—reason.

Jenny Albers of A Beautifully Burdened Life shared a photo of her daughter on her Facebook page, which shows her looking just off camera with a very serious look on her face. No smile. Not even a twinkle in her eye. Her teacher was apologetic and reassured Albers that she could retake the photo, but Albers took one look and said no way.

Keep Reading Show less