Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Pandemic Hugs–Life in the Time of COVID

I was taken aback when he held his hand up, indicating that my hug wasn’t welcome. The hurt only lasted a split second. Of course, the pandemic.

Image by Gan Khoon Lay 

            Daniel, my son, and I always hugged each other fiercely when we saw each other, but now, I couldn’t. Throughout lock-down, on weekends, we went for walks together, but we didn’t hug. Every time I remembered, I felt a twinge of pain. Once lock-down was over, Daniel went back to work, in person. Concerned about the possibility of infection, he suggested it was too risky to continue getting together.

            Then came the day when we were both fully vaccinated—we could resume our walks. Speaking on the phone, finalizing our plans for a walk in the nearby nature reserve, it suddenly clicked. “We can hug!”

            Daniel came to pick me up on a lovely sunny day. I greeted him at the door beaming from ear to ear—we hadn’t seen each other in a couple of months. The last few times I’d seen him, I’d been a bit hesitant, on my guard, having to remind myself curb my initial instinct to include hugs with our hellos and goodbyes.

This time, I didn’t have to second guess myself. I eagerly stepped into the long awaited hug, and squealed as our arms tightened around each other. Several inches taller than me, as I fiercened my embrace, he reciprocated and lifted me off my feet.

            My beamish smile lingered with me on and off through the next few days.