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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

450 COVID-19 gave us ‘skin hunger’ and ‘touch deprivation.’ We’re fighting back with hugs

Day 450 June 9th 2021:

COVID-19 gave us ‘skin hunger’ and ‘touch deprivation.’ We’re fighting back with hugs

“Millions and millions of years would still not give me half enough time to describe that tiny instant of all eternity when you put your arms around me and I put my arms around you.” – Jacques Prevert

We hosted a birthday party for Linda and our friend Deb Thea a couple of days ago. We were all fully vaccinated and voila - No masks, and wondrously, delightfully lots of hugging. Long hugs, standing close, true embracing, and fun hugs. We're all huggers and the first few moments as people arrived were filled with glorious hugs. These were not the first hugs of our post-pandemic time.

“Laughter with those that understand us is music for the soul. A hug at the right moment and a kind shoulder to lean on, Is the sprinkle of magic that keeps us walking towards hope.” – Mimi Novic

That happened in the parking lot of Resurrection Parish as we delivered dinner for the homeless at Sam Jones. Those hugs within the Emmaus Community were long overdue -- a year and more overdue. Kiss of peace type hugs. Finally!

After a year without close physical contact,

our hugs have become so much more.

People are dreaming about them, planning them and savoring them. We vow to never take them for granted again. Hugs are making a comeback.

“It’s unprecedented to have the world just stop touching for a year,” said San Diego State University psychology professor Tristen Inagaki. “It sounds like it’s just going to be a hugfest, which is wonderful, because you have to do something to overcome all of that deprivation.”

“I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words.” – Ann Hood

Joyous hugs

John Van Daam is an old friend who lives alone on a boat in Sausalito. We have always hugged each other and eaten pizza together whenever we meet. After making sure we were both vaccinated we met up at Mary's Pizza Shack in Novato - outdoors at a table correctly spaced ... but the first thing we did, even while wearing masks was to hug each other. "We're alive, we made it through" I said. The hug was fabulous.

We've been helping Bill Boorman move into a new apartment in Oakmont Gardens. Victoria and Linda have done the major work. I've been there to hang artwork, a few mirrors and move things into storage. We enter the apartment with hugs. We hang art with hugs, we say goodbye with hugs. Each hug a sign of togetherness and survival.

It has been a long year.

“Everbody needs a hug. It changes your metabolism.” – Leo Buscaglia

I can hardly wait to be together again at Emmaus and to spend lots of times hugging. We have so many great huggers in our community. Patti, Tom, Cathy, Beth, Kay, Doug and so many more. It will be a true celebration -- our kiss of peace to the max.

There’s something beautiful about taking these small mundane things that we have aken for granted looking at them in a new light. The anticipation is great. There’s definitely going to be a long hug and a lot of joyful tears.

“With age, you get to a place where you don’t want to knock people out.

You just want to give people a hug.” – Vin Diesel

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