Jennifer Garner Interviews Dr. Fauci and Clears Up Many Back to School and Sports Questions From Moms

Jennifer Garner connected via video chat with infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sept. 9, 2020. The Pretend Cooking Show host wanted to get answers to the most commonly asked questions from parents of kids who want to get back to school and sports. 

Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Jennifer Garner asks Dr. Fauci if kids should go back to school

Garner has three children and is an activist for early childhood education. So, she was very interested in Dr. Fauci’s recommendation for kids getting back to school. His answer was more complicated than a straightforward “Yes,” or “No.”

“If you live in a green zone, it’s reasonably easy to get your children back to school,” Dr. Fauci explained. “If you live in a yellow zone, in which you have a modest degree of infection, you almost certainly have to make some modifications to get them back to school.”

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Garner listened intently while the physician detailed what to do to get kids back to school. He added that if you live in a yellow zone, you have to “be creative” to make it safe for children to go to school. If you live in a red zone, the doctor recommends that the community do everything they can to get the infections down in the area before sending children back to school. 

Dr. Fauci and Jennifer Garner talk about what sports kids can do safely

“If you are in a green zone, kids can play with each other,” Dr. Fauci tells Garner. “Assume they are not infected.” 

If you are in a troublesome zone, pick things that aren’t personal contact sports. Tennis and golf are good. Football is not a good one. 

“If you want to have organized activities, do things that they are not falling all over each other,” Dr. Fauci tells Garner.

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“If they are playing tennis on opposite sides of the court, do they need to have a mask on?” Garner asks the doctor. He gives a resounding, “No.”

“Is it OK to touch the tennis ball? Is the tennis ball going to infect them?” she asks next. “Are we still wiping down groceries?” 

He tells her that the children can touch the same ball and not worry. It’s much more person to person contact that spreads the virus. 

Garner asks Dr. Fauci to clarify mask-wearing

The 13 Going On 30 actor asks about wearing masks outside and how important it is. 

“We need to be practical and reasonable with masks,” Dr. Fauci explains. “If you’re jogging and there isn’t anybody within 100 feet of you, there’s no reason to have the mask over your face.”

Garner loves his answer about breathing in the fresh air.

“That’s so helpful to know because I think we are all wondering. If you are outside and there’s no one you are coming in contact with, can you just breathe?”

Garner also asks Fauci to clarify whether a face shield is better or a mask. The physician explains that a face shield is not covering your mouth and nose like a mask does.

“Face shields are not as effective as a mask, good to know,” Garner confirms.

Garner hopes that the interview cleared up many questions parents might have about sending their children back to school and sports this fall.