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Is the hug changed forever?

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Cars start lining up in a semi-circle in our cul de sac. College-aged students hop out of their driver seats and go to their trunks, looking for something. They clear out junk instead-- candles and books are thrown out--and plop themselves to the floor of their trunks, wrapped in blankets. I hear the chitter-chatter of girls talking loudly to hear each other over gusty winds and a hummingbird above.

“I wish I could give you a hug!” I overhear.

When looking from the outside in, it’s like we’re living in an alternate universe.

I look to my husband, “I wonder if we’re ever going to be greeting people with hugs again.”

He could only shrug.

Because if this is our 911 wake-up call, our airport security equivalent would be a lot of purell and minimal to no touching.

When the class of 2021 receives their diplomas, will there be hugs all around to celebrate? Or will it just be a quick hand-off and nods all-around?

But hugs are too powerful to let go of.

A hug can be the comfort he needs at the end of a long hard day.

A hug can mean she’s here for her friend who’s going through loss.

A hug can stick with him longer than preaching or advice.

A hug can mean she's no longer alone, and she matters.

A hug can mean he’s happy to see someone.

A hug can give her hope.

Hugs can mean many things.

There’s so much heightened disease awareness right now that it’s hard to see the impact ever disappearing.

But, it saddens me to think that our kids may not get the full benefit of a hug, because people will be less likely to give them.

Covid-19 has changed us as a culture.

The irony is we’re a culture in need of an embrace right now.

Every single one of us can use one,

at least.

We miss the hugs from our mimis and papas,

our cousins,

our in-laws,

and our friends.

They need a tight squeeze back.

I’m just not ready to give it up.

Because the hug is too powerful to let go of.

This post originally appeared on the author's Facebook. Her book Living FULL: Winning My Battle with Eating Disorder is available on Amazon:

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