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Jun 11, 2021

Sunday, Jun 20, 2021 - 20:35:17

Can I give you a hug?

Can I give you a hug?

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(CNN)Who among us hasn't had the recent experience of running into a friend we haven't seen in a year and not knowing what to do. Our social interactions these days so often start out with an awkward question: "Can I give you a hug?" Or, "You okay with a handshake?" Or even just, "Vaccinated?"

Megan RanneyElizabeth Stuart Whether or not the Covid-19 pandemic has ended on a global scale, most of the United States is acting as if much of the public health danger within our borders has passed.
Our states are moving back towards the pre-pandemic "normal," removing mask mandates and occupancy restrictions, removing social distancing recommendations and in some places even reducing testing and case count reporting.
    As the light at the end of the tunnel gets closer, the possibility of pre-pandemic interactions -- hugs, high fives, intimate dinners, big weddings -- are tantalizingly close. But it also remains frustratingly difficult to figure out what's right, what's safe, and what's respectful.
      There is a clear question of public health at play: first and foremost, we have to decide whether it's safe to engage in these types of contact with friends, coworkers, or people you are meeting for the first time (especially if you don't know their vaccination status).
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      Tears and screams of joy as grandparents and kids reunite 01:42From the perspective of science, for fully vaccinated people spending time with other fully vaccinated people, it is absolutely safe to go back to the physical interactions we might have had before the pandemic -- hugs, handshakes and more.Read MoreIt gets a little murkier when you're vaccinated, but you're not sure about those around you. The higher the vaccination rates and the lower the rates of Covid-19 in your community, the smaller the chance of an interaction being risky. If only 1 of 100,000 people in your area have Covid-19, and you're vaccinated, the chance of you catching an infection in any given social interaction is practically zero, regardless of whether the people around you have gotten their shots. The challenge here, of course, is three-fold. Most of us don't know our community's Covid-19 rates. Most communities' current infection rates are still above this negligible level. And it feels strange to ask someone whether they've been vaccinated.And this is the other side of the science. Just because the data says we're safe doesn't mean that everyone will be comfortable moving back towards 2019 practices all at once. Many of us haven't had close interactions with people outside of our household in over a year -- we've been keeping 6' of distance, keeping masks on and bumping elbows at most. This feels justifiably weird to many. Is the handshake back? How were greeting each other as the world reopensWhich leaves us with the very real social question of how to navigate these interactions.Here's the thing: each of us is in a different place, physically and mentally. While some of us can't wait to be socializing again, others feel differently. Some Americans have been very content to be at home by themselves -- some may have lost a loved one, others may still be worried that a loved one has a compromised immune system or has otherwise been unable to be vaccinated. For people in these categories, it may not feel normal or safe to interact with other people yet. So how should we think about these moments in this in-between period, where we aren't quite out of the pandemic, but nor are we completely in it? Stop trying to return to life as you knew itFirst, become comfortable asking about others' comfort levels directly, before going in for that handshake or hug. And feel free to state your own preference. There is no right or wrong here.Second, don't take it personally if someone doesn't want to give you a hug or handshake, or doesn't want to take off their mask; you don't know their circumstances, and it likely is not about you! Third, keep an eye on community transmission and vaccination rates in your area, and be prepared to scale back physical interactions if transmission rates rise. Get our free weekly newsletter

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        Many workplaces are allowing for a gradual easing-back into in-person work routines. It's okay to ease back to physical touch, too. Letting re-emergence happen on the terms and comfort level of each person is okay. It's been a long 16 months. This moment is a good time to show each other a little grace.

        News Source: CNN

        Tags: you’re vaccinated don’t know their doesn’t want you don’t know ’re vaccinated ’t know their fully vaccinated people don’t know you don’t ’t want vaccination rates the chance our community public health in your area each other pre pandemic the pandemic a loved one whether question

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        Coronavirus Vaccine Updates: 1st Olympic athlete tests positive for COVID

        NEW YORK (WABC) -- A member of Uganda's Olympic team is the first Olympic athlete to test positive for the coronavirus.

        The Olympian was barred entry into Japan while the other eight members of that country's team took a chartered bus to Osaka.

        Japan has required a two-week quarantine for overseas arrivals, but Olympic teams aren't subject to the same border controls.

        A state of emergency to curb the spread of the virus in Japan's large urban areas ends Sunday.

        Opening ceremonies for the summer games takes place in just five weeks.

        Here are more of today's headlines:

        China says 1 billion vaccine doses administered
        China has announced that more than 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the country. The National Health Commission did not say Sunday how many people had been vaccinated. As elsewhere, most of the vaccines in China are given in two doses. The pace of vaccinations has accelerated in the country of 1.4 billion people after a slow start. The total number of doses given doubled from 500 million in less than a month, according to government tallies.

        Anti-government protesters in Brazil take streets as COVID death toll soars past half a million
        Anti-government protesters have taken to the streets in cities across Brazil as the nation's confirmed death toll from COVID-19 soared past half a million. It's a tragedy many critics blame on President Jair Bolsonaro's attempt to minimize the disease. Thousands gathered Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, waving flags reading "Get out Bolsonaro." Other marchers hoisted posters reading: "500 thousand deaths. It's his fault."

        Russia's COVID rate more than doubles from early June
        Russia's national coronavirus taskforce on Saturday reported 17,906 new infections, more than double the daily tally from early June. More than half of the new infections are in Moscow, where cases have tripled this month. The soaring case count has caused alarm among officials, who have increased measures to obstruct the spread.

        NYC vaccination rates by zip code
        There are about a dozen communities in the New York City area where three out of four people have not been vaccinated yet. 7 On Your Side Investigates created a map where the darkest colored zip codes have the most vaccinated New Yorkers and the lightest, the least.


        MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE

        Mask guidance in the Tri-State area

        New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
        New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
        How to get the vaccine in NYC, Tri-State area
        Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus



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