On March 9, “Today” started with coronavirus coverage. Americans have been panicked over the virus throughout the past few weeks.

Today” had other drastic news to cover this morning, as the stock market hit the 7.5% decline mark, triggering a halt before a restart, related to coronavirus concerns. Failed negotiations between Russia and Saudi Arabia led to a flood of oil production on the market. The glut, combined with outbreak fears, caused the extreme fluctuation.

Today” celebrated happier news this morning.

Hoda Kotb was back on duty at the news desk after a full week at home with the flu. The bright and bubbly Hoda shared some insight on what being forced to slow down and look after yourself teaches. In recent days, several “Today” regulars have demonstrated that they still have the same affection for each other, but they are showing it in less cozy ways.

No typical “Today” hugs to welcome back Hoda

Just a few weeks ago, fans of “Today” treasured the lingering hug between Oprah and Hoda Kotb on the first Friday broadcast of “Hoda & Jenna & Friends.” A few weeks has made a huge difference.

Some fans voiced concern last week with Hoda Kotb’s absence due to illness during the coronavirus outbreak. She explained that her sickness started after the “Today” visit to Orlando. She was not stricken by the coronavirus, but by the much more prevalent flu that takes 56,000 lives each year, according to the CDC. Hosts of TV Shows have to be careful in adoring crowds.

Hoda and Jenna demonstrated their new “booty bump,” as their rumps touched softly side-to-side.

Kotb touted that the greeting allowed “breathing air from over here,” Kotb demonstrated, facing outward to less close quarters. The new approach still was friendly, as Jenna stated to the giggling crew.

'Today' is getting less touchy

On the “3rd Hour of Today,” only Maria Shriver gave actual touches. The host is also known for her humanitarian approach to person-to-person connection, as in her Sunday Table.

Her custom of welcoming strangers to her home for a meal has become a nationwide trend, with many groups across the table. Even in these germ-leery times, people can still reach out to each other.

There's no way to tell if “Today” officially adopted a new policy, but last Thursday and Friday, Jenna Bush Hager and her guest co-hosts didn't make their entrance walking down the Studio 6A stairs and hugging numerous fans in their audience. Jenna mentioned this morning that she hugged a woman who actually was startled, and apparently not in a good way. At least for a while, the coronavirus has prevented touching each other on the show.

Common-sense immune-boosters on 'Today'

The fourth-hour hosts of “Today” are both moms with young children, and Hoda and Jenna both compared their raw knuckles from so much hand-washing over recent weeks. Hand-washing is the most powerful tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Kotb and Hager each employed their own songs or games to encourage the kids to get hand-washing done. Jenna described how the simple practice was one way of pulling children through this time of outbreak without frightening them. The co-hosts invited “Today” fans to submit their own “Wash your hands like…” comparisons under the hashtag.

Since it's difficult to hear from actual medical experts under the current administration, Dr. Mehmet Oz seems to be everywhere, filling in the gaps in public information on the coronavirus. A cardiac surgeon still qualifies as a doctor, even if he's on TV. Dr. Oz is omnipresent across networks and channels these days, and he offered “Today” viewers common sense advice on staying healthy through the spread of the illness.

He agrees with his physician cohorts on getting the flu shot, at least as an overall protective measure. Fruits and vegetables daily are daily immune boosters, as well as sleep, which Americans run chronically short on every day.

Oz also recommends simple over-the-counter remedies of zinc, vitamin C (twice daily), elderberry, and mushrooms as preventative supplements, as he offered to Savannah Guthrie. These advices are not remedies against the coronavirus, there are just ways to be stronger and reinforce your immune system.

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