World Health Organization: Please no hugging over the holidays

World Health Organization: Please no hugging over the holidays
(AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias) (Source: Jean-Francois Badias)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The World Health Organization, or the WHO for short, is asking folks not to hug one another over the holiday season, acknowledging that this is the “brutal reality” for those living in the United States.

The WHO’s Emergency Chief, Dr. Michael Ryan, said recently that the coronavirus pandemic in America is “punishing” and called it “quite frankly, shocking” that one to two Americans die every minute due to the virus.

To date, America has seen 15.2 million COVID-19 cases with over 285 thousand Americans dying from the virus.

Ryan went on to say that it is a “terrible thing” that the WHO is telling people not to hug one another but “that is the brutal reality in places like the United States right now.”

According to TIME, last month U.K. Medical Chief Officer Chris Whitty also told Britons that they should not hug or kiss elderly relatives during the holidays “if you want them to survive to be hugged again.”

Local doctors have shared similar sentiments. While asking Mississippians to keep the holiday gatherings small this year, Mississippi State Medical Association President Dr. Mark Horne stated that “We don’t really want to see Mamaw at Thanksgiving and bury her by Christmas.”

So far, 4,041 people have died from COVID-19 in Mississippi.

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