Stop hugging? That’s the advice from health experts!

Stop hugging?  That’s the advice from health experts!

Jill McCluskey, right, the mother of slain University of Utah student-athlete Lauren McCluskey, receives a hug during the Lauren McCluskey Memorial Walk at the McCarthey Family Track and Field Complex, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The parents of Lauren McCluskey, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend on campus two years earlier, have reached a $13.5 million settlement with the university. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

GENEVA (AP) – The World Health Organization has an unwelcome but potentially life-saving message for the holiday season: Don’t hug. To stop the spread of the coronavirus, WHO’s emergencies chief said Monday that the “shocking” rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths, particularly in the U.S., mean that people shouldn’t get too close to their loved ones this year. Dr. Michael Ryan called the pandemic “brutal” in the U.S., which accounts for about a third of all COVID-19 cases globally. He said it’s “horrible” that WHO is advising people not to hug each other, but he said it’s “the brutal reality.”

Photo: (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)