As more states loosen coronavirus restrictions, professor of immunology and biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Erin Bromage, a CNN contributor, addressed some top-of-mind questions about the pandemic on “New Day.”
Q: Are we ever going to shake hands again?
A: “I think we'll get back there, eventually; it’s just going to take some time and we need to understand the virus better. We need to have a better treatment before normality with that type of thing comes back again.”
Q: Are we allowed to hug people now or not?
A: “The infection control person in me says no. But there are ways to do it, if you're in a community where the current prevalence of the virus is quite low, where you can. A child hugging a grandparent can hug them around the waist. Their faces never come anywhere near each other. They disinfect their hands after that, we do it outdoors. There are creative ways to be able to do it and to do it responsibly and reducing the risk. … As long as you don't turn your head towards the person that you're hugging and you're wearing masks … you just make sure you wash your hands.”
Q: Can we go on airplanes now?
A: “If you are at high risk, if you have high blood pressure, if you are overweight, it's probably not worth it under almost any circumstance. But if you have a good reason for flying, there's a necessity that you need to fly, there's a risk involved but I think that you can take that risk if your own personal risk is lower because of your health and age.”
He added that airplanes need to enforce masks across the board. “It really comes down to ‘I protect you, you protect me.’”
Q: Is it safe now to go into a hair salon and get your hair cut?
A: “[Going] into the hair salon is definitely going to be a little bit more risky. But again, it can be managed if you think about how to do it from the employer's point of view, that we keep the number of people down, we don't wait, we don't have long haircuts, we wear masks all the way through … It can be done. You just are assuming a high level of risk, but you can mitigate that risk by just some simple steps.”