OU Medicine experts discuss social distancing from friends, family safely


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – While we’re all doing our best to practice social distancing, some are wondering – is six feet far enough?

Friends and family may want to see you and your children from a distance, but is it safe?

Experts say the safest way to see your loved ones is by phone or computer screen, no matter how badly you just want to give them a hug.

“I really miss my granddaughter, but I haven’t seen her now for several weeks except for FaceTime,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, Enterprise Chief Quality Officer at OU Medicine.

Bratzler is also a family man – from a distance – for now.

“We’ve made the choice that we’re going to stay apart as a family until we get through this,” he said. 

Dr. Rachel Franklin with OU Physicians and Family Medicine is also urging others to think before they step outside.

“The challenge we run into is we can always so very easily find an excuse for doing what it is that we want to do and the virus doesn’t care what you want to do,” she said. “The virus doesn’t care what you believe. The virus only wants another host to infect.​“

When you do get out it’s important to remember why we’re social distancing.

Doctors and researchers are learning more about this new virus every day.

“It was a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that showed that when you sneeze, you create a cloud of micro-droplets that can travel up to 27 feet – much farther than generally recognized in the past,” said Bratzler. 

He says now is the time to do our best at social distancing, to flatten the curve as soon as possible.

“We’re all hoping that this is a seasonal virus so when we get to those hot, humid Oklahoma days that the transmission of the virus goes down but we just don’t know yet,” Bratzler said. 

Bratzler also urges you to not get a false sense of security from wearing a mask.

Most you’ll see in public are not properly fitted and are intended primarily to protect others, not yourself.

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