Can I hug or kiss my boyfriend

For many people in Germany, Pentecost was a special festival this year. After the unhappy Easter holidays at home alone, some families met again for the first time in a long time. And who could help but hug their mother, grandpa or grandchildren, at least as a greeting - only to have a guilty conscience afterwards because of the actually forbidden closeness?

Hugs are worse than distance, though. Even so, there are ways to keep the risk of infection low if the child is being comforted or a close friend just needs to be hugged. Several international experts have worked on how this can be done New York Times explained. In particular, Linsey Marr, an aerosol specialist at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, has calculated the potential virus spread during a hug. She comes to the conclusion that the close proximity can be surprisingly harmless - if you stick to a few rules.

According to the experts, the most important thing during the pandemic hug is always to wear a mask. It reduces the number of droplets that are exhaled. The hug should also be kept as short as possible. The longer you lie in each other's arms, the greater the risk of infection. There are experts who recommend holding your breath while hugging.

It's best to look over the other's shoulder

The attitude of the heads to one another is also decisive. The hugs should never look directly at each other when they get close. You should also never press their faces together with their cheeks so that they are both looking in the same direction, because then their noses and mouths are also at a minimal distance from each other. Droplets that escape through the mask don't have to go far. So it's better to look past each other, over each other's shoulders.

Due to the size difference, there are two options for children, with the adults standing by. Depending on the age, the child's face is roughly at hip to chest height of the adult. Small children can be hugged from above while they are wrapped around the adult's legs. In any case, it is important to look to the side, if possible in the other direction than the child. And not down on the child.

The other option is to stand behind a slightly older child and hold them by the shoulders - then you can even kiss them, on the head. Although, according to previous knowledge, children are not infected as easily as adults, one should also wear a mask here, because the droplets when exhaling sometimes sink through a mask - especially if it is badly fitted.

"I think it is very important that science should provide possible rules of conduct with which the human need for contact can be satisfied," says the infectiologist Gerd Fätkenheuer from the University Hospital in Cologne. According to the current data, the advice of colleagues seems plausible to the former president of the German Society for Infectious Diseases. He does not consider holding one's breath to be absolutely necessary - even if it is not necessarily harmful.