Fauci gives Jennifer Garner 'practical' parenting advice amid pandemic: 'You can traumatize a child really trying to make them be a hermit'


Jennifer Garner is the latest celebrity to share a split-screen with the now familiar face of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert. On Wednesday, she shared footage, on Instagram, of the two talking about questions parents have about their kids during the pandemic.

Garner, who shares three children — Violet, 14; Seraphina, 11; and 8-year-old Samuel — with ex-husband Ben Affleck, asked Fauci about how to handle anxious children.

“You can traumatize a child really trying to make them be a hermit,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. “You’ve gotta be practical.”

He explained that while he definitely advises people to wear masks, even he occasionally removes his while out walking in Washington., D.C.

“Sometimes you look. You don’t see anybody for 200 feet, there's no reason to have the mask over your face,” Fauci said. “What I usually do is I pull it down, and I enjoy the fresh air. When I pass someone or come into closer contact, I pull the mask up, and it’s really simple to do.”

Garner wanted to know, too, what it was safe for kids to do outside.

Fauci’s answer was that it’s OK for kids to play low-contact sports such as golf or tennis. Something like football, which requires a lot of contact, is off-limits.

“If you can, to the extent possible — and I know, I had three young kids years ago; It’s very difficult to keep them separated from each other — but if you want to have organized activities,” Fauci said, “try as best as you can to do things where they’re not falling all over each other, where they can have the social contact without necessarily breathing all over each other.”

He had the same feelings about schools and recommended a combination of social distancing, rotating schedules and other safety measures, according to local coronavirus rates.

Fauci also addressed college-age students: “You're not in a vacuum.”

Even though the statistics show that they probably won’t get seriously ill, he said, they run the risk of spreading the virus to someone’s parents, potentially someone who’s, for example, undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. He reminded them that they have a responsibility to themselves and as a member of society to help stop the pandemic.

If you’re thinking to yourself that sounds like something Fauci has said before, he is well aware.

“You know, Miss Garner, I have been pleading through TV and radio for months now, and I really feel a bit uneasy, because I’ve never been a preachy type person,” he said. “I don’t like to be preaching. I don’t like to be pejorative and essentially make people feel guilty.”

Garner is one of several celebrities, such as her Dallas Buyers Club co-star Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts and Lil Wayne, using their substantial social media followings to spread Fauci’s message.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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