Maybe you never thought about it before – or took for granted how often someone put his/her arm around your shoulder – or held your hand. Maybe you can’t even remember anymore what it’s like to have someone wrap their arms around you and hug you – or show you love without even saying a word. Do you miss that? I know I do sometimes, while we are keeping our distance from people that we normally see every day, or at least frequently.
Many of us have had birthdays during this time and even though we’ve had parades by our house and singing telegrams and zoom parties – we still haven’t had a hug or a kiss on the cheek. We haven’t sat shoulder to shoulder on the couch with our friends and family opening gifts.
Some of us have been sick, maybe even in the hospital – away from loved ones who would normally be able to sit by a bedside and hold our hand. Instead we only see their faces on a screen. Some of us are on the other side of that screen agonizing over the fact that we cannot be there comforting our loved one. If we are home and sick we may be relegated to a bedroom and everyone else stays away, masked, leaving food outside our doors – certainly not being able to touch us in anyway. Caregivers are stressed about doing the best they can for sick loved ones without getting sick themselves.
At least one or two holidays have happened during the quarantine period. Families were left to celebrate in very small groups, sometimes without all of the traditional items or foods they were used to. Grandparents have been separated from grandchildren unable to do the normal fun activities, or only able to watch from afar – grandchildren unable to understand why they can’t come closer.
Humans were meant for connection and intimacy. We need to feel close to others at least once and a while. Some of us need this more than others, but we all need it sometimes. As we cross over the 50th day of quarantine even the most introverted of introverts are starting to feel lonely. We miss one another.
In the 135+ history of KidsPeace we have learned through working with many children in various circumstances that sometimes they will need to find ways to communicate affection in alternate ways that do not include touch, at least for a short time. We’ve put our collective clinical minds together to see how we could possibly apply this knowledge to the current situation in our country in a way that could help us all with our need for affection now, when physical touch still is not an option for many people.
We’d like to introduce to you the KidsPeace Virtual Hug.