I miss hugs. 

There have been many casualties of the coronavirus the entire world has been facing. COVID-19 hasn’t spared anyone, even if one hasn’t actually had the disease. We’re not far removed from those who have had it, recovered or have succumbed.  

Jobs, customers, supplies, weddings, funerals, reunions, vacations, empty shelves, mortgage/rent payments, groceries, utilities, morning coffee, book clubs, day care, school. All and more have been upended, and currently we have no national strategic framework to handle the tremendous impact on the country and the world. 

One of the many casualties is the hug. Human touch with a friend or family member has been impacted in ways we will not fully understand until we have some historical clarity.  But, right now I miss hugs.

The hug, the human touch, is now something that can infect as well as soothe. Of all the things that feel awkward and out of whack right now, our human connection has also been altered. We have choices to make for our own well-being and the well being of others. We’re all facing choices none of us like. Since humans are an odd lot to begin with, this basic part of most of our natures is being tested. It feels wrong. It feels empty.  

At the store, post office or other public gathering spot, I’ve noticed we apprehensively take a step back or watch to make sure we don’t get close.  Even with a mask, we’re tentative, and possibly suspect, of our fellow human. Making eye contact has been slightly different. We seem to have retreated into our own bubble to try and separate rather than connect. It’s a further tragedy when connecting is what we all need so desperately, especially now.  

I recognize some have created lines in the sand about this virus. Some believe it’s no big deal or a hoax; some believe it does exist and is wreaking havoc. It’s sad how a non-political virus that impacts everyone in some way or another has become another political pawn and divider for our fellow citizens. 

No one seems to pause and ask is it even logical or helpful to fight and argue about a organism that is attacking willy nilly. When there is much out of our control regarding testing, vaccines and other efforts that are beyond our individual pay grades, there are a few things we can control – but there are disagreements and political battles about something benign like masks and social distancing. 

Maybe we had already started to distance ourselves from our fellow humans before the virus. Maybe we had drawn those imaginary lines in the sand to create a demarcation of division. We’re aligning as if we are in a battle with each other, rather than trying to find a collective solution; or, in the meantime, display care and concern for ourselves and even those who may be strangers.

I miss the hug and the human-touch connection.

 

“Touch has a memory.” –John Keats

“See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.  O, that I were a glove upon that hand That I might touch that cheek!” –William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

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