One of my best online friends was talking this morning about being a hugger and not being able to hug people right now because of the damn 'rona.
In real life, I'm not a huge hugger, per se. There are only certain people I hug - usually once I know them really well and become comfortable enough to have them inside my personal space. For them, I am a hugger. When the urge to hug them arises and I can't do it, I'm sad.
The other day, I said 'screw it' and hugged my best in-person friend. She has had a rough year, even given the 'rona chaos. And the latest thing pretty much put me over the top. She needed a hug and I needed to hug her. Screw COVID. She's been exceptionally careful and I'm a freakin' hermit, so the likelihood of either of us being Typhoid Mary was slim.
I saw another friend of mine yesterday. I asked her how her and her husband were doing - he has cancer. She said they were both doing really well and she had a smile on her face (yeah, mask, but I could see it in her eyes.) I wanted to give her a happy hug, and I would've if she hadn't been at work under a dozen cameras.
This thing has got us all so terrified of touching each other. Humans need contact with other humans. Actual physical contact. The internet, while cool for keeping in touch, doesn't replace actually touching other people.
No wonder depression and suicides are up.
Long ago, probably in my Child Psychology class back in 1990, I read about a study of orphaned children. The children who had been orphaned as babies, who didn't receive enough physical contact from their caregivers nearly always had some mental irregularity - neuroses and psychoses. Sometimes those poor babies even died from lack of contact.
What we've been reduced to... it's all very sad. So... and I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do from here...
To quote an old commercial, reach out and touch someone today. In whatever way you can.