With Covid restrictions in England due to be lifted soon, we might be rethinking how we feel about human touch
With the prospect of the further easing of pandemic restrictions, following Monday’s announcement of the government’s intention to relax social distancing rules in England on 19 July, I’ve been thinking about the return of the hug. After so long, greeting people has become a slightly awkward endeavour, with some going in for an embrace and others sticking to the raising of a hand or an ironic elbow bump, eyes rolling.
Of course, for some, the hug has never really gone away. “Did you hug your mum?” a friend and I asked each other, when we finally got to see them after the first lockdown. We both admitted a little bashfully that we had – our mothers had been alone throughout the pandemic. “But we were wearing masks,” my friend said: one of those sentences that didn’t exist before, that makes you feel a little nauseous if you study it too closely, much like the headlines about the return of physical contact.