Mask to mask kisses have become a new trend, freshly emerged from the west. Many celebrities have been spotted kissing publicly with their masks on. Recently Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States and second gentleman Doug Emhoff kissed before heading their separate ways on flights with their masks on. Hashtag India gets you some expert opinion on how safe or otherwise mask-to-mask kissing actually is.
Spillsvilla and Khatron Ke Khiladi 11 contestant Varun Sood kissed his girlfriend Divya Agarwal at the Mumbai airport with a mask on as he was leaving for Cape Town, South Africa for the competition. Since last year, all the experts, doctors, and medical practitioners have suggested that the best way to keep the deadly virus at bay is to avoid making physical relations with people outside their homes.
Dr Shweta Goswami, Senior Consultant IVF from Jaypee Hospital, is of the opinion that conditions in India are a world apart from those in the US right now. “In the United States, a large part of the population is now vaccinated, but in India, we are yet to see the deadly second wave peaking, even as the virus continues to mutate. Even vaccines cannot offer 100% protection, and hence, we should not drop our guards at this point in time,” she shares.
New Delhi-based gynaecologist, Dr Anubha Singh agrees, and stressing on the importance of proper mutual masking, she adds, “A mask protects the other person in how it limits the spread of your respiratory droplets. For masks to truly reduce the risks of getting COVID-19, mutual masking is necessary.”
The consequences of dropping mask etiquette and kissing publicly can go beyond one person getting COVID-19. Dr. Shobha Gupta explained, “It’s very dangerous as the outer surface of the mask has the maximum germs. Close contact with a mask on could be risky. Hence, I would advise avoiding face-to-face contact or closeness.” The experts all warn against the transmission of aerosols that might take place if you attempt mask-to-mask kissing.
COVID-19 transmission risk would also be impacted by a number of other factors, such as the degree of face-to-face contact and how fatal the infection is. Right now, there just isn’t enough data to be definitive, but it is advisable to have some more patience and maintain distance. Avoid kissing, hugging in public places and prioritise your health and the safety of others too.