News, Culture & Society

Dr. Deborah Birx OKs Memorial Day golf, tennis with marked balls and socially distant picnics

Dr. Deborah Birx OKed Memorial Day golf, tennis, picnics and beach excursions as long as best practices were used to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

‘You can go out, you can be outside, you can play golf, you can play tennis with marked balls, you can go to the beaches if you stay six feet apart,’ she said at Friday’s White House press briefing. 

She added that Americans can even consider sharing space, such as having a picnic, ‘as long as you have utensils that belong to individuals that maybe can be thrown out immediately.’ 

Birx, a member of the White House’s coronavirus taskforce, called on younger Americans to create video explainers that would show best picnicking practices. 

‘I really am asking our great generation of millennials to get some YouTube videos about how to do picnics outside with your friends and still protect everyone and still ensure there’s no co-contamination of food and utensils,’ she said. ‘I think there’s a way to do it, but I want it explained in a YouTube video.’ 

Dr. Deborah Birx advised the American people that they can be outside during Memorial Day weekend as long as they approach activities with caution. She mentioned golf, tennis, picnics and visits to the beach during Friday’s press briefing 

Golf, President Trump's favorite pasttime, is on the table for Memorial Day weekend, Dr. Deborah Birx said at the White House briefing on Friday. She just advised being careful about touching flags and balls

Golf, President Trump’s favorite pasttime, is on the table for Memorial Day weekend, Dr. Deborah Birx said at the White House briefing on Friday. She just advised being careful about touching flags and balls 

The 64-year-old doctor said she was worried about her own generation, who are at higher risk if they get COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus exposure, because ‘we’re really social, at times.’ 

This, she said, could lead to lax social distancing. 

‘We have a habit of forgetting social distancing or forgetting that glasses, and when you’re eating, you can’t eat in a mask, so even if you’re far enough apart you have to watch every utensil and everything you touch,’ she recommended. 

While she admitted, ‘there’s a lot of things to think through.’ 

When talking about tennis she requested that people mark their balls, so they’re not sharing germs that way. With golf, she advised keeping players’ hands off the flags.  

‘I know you can do this, I know the American people can do it,’ she said. 

Birx took over the White House podium after President Trump made a brief appearance to announce that he was deeming houses of worship ‘essential,’ in a challenge to governors to allow religious services to restart this weekend.  

She began her presentation with graphs and charts, showing national progress on slowing the coronavirus, though several troublesome urban areas including Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles that seem to be in a perpetual plateau. 

But she echoed comments made by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who appeared last night on CNN, about making the most of being outdoors through the three-day Memorial Day weekend.  

‘Memorial Day, it’s a very important holiday. Hopefully the sun will be out. We’ll be having people who want to get out there and get fresh air. You can do that. We’re not telling people to just lock in unless you’re in a situation where you have a major outbreak going on, we don’t have too much of that right now in the country,’ Fauci told CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta. 

Both Fauci and Birx are based in the D.C. area. 

‘Go out, wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from anyone so you have the physical distancing, and go out. Go for a run. Go for a walk. Go fishing. As long as you’re not in a crowd and you’re not in a situation where you can physically transmit the virus, and that’s what a mask is for, and that’s with the physical distance,’ he continued. 

Fauci said he would be doing just that, adding that he planned to ‘go out on nice walks and hikes over Memorial Day.’  

‘And I’m going to do it with care, with a mask on,’ he said.