With the varying degrees of physical isolation which the world is currently experiencing on the most personal levels, I am concerned about the impact of what I call HDS Hug Deprivation Syndrome on our mental health and psychological and physical well being.
Personally, I’m a hugging kind of guy. From the now-shelved warm handshake to the hug of love with a friend, it is part of how I’ve related to people over the years. While respecting others boundaries, my leaning is towards contact as appropriate.
I suspect that although the level of the de-physicalization varies with the people, that the the specifics of those boundaries vary with the person, that overall, the norm as we’ve known it was far far closer than what we now have; closer by masks and feet.
Assuming that many people and animals have a basic need for physical contact, and assuming that the degree of physical contact we are currently living with is a drastic reduction from what we’re used to, what does that mean? It means that there is a most important physical/emotional basic need which has suddenly become a victim of COVID19.
How can we reduce the impact of this loss? My suggestion is that we increase the amount of hugging among those of us who are locked-down or partially locked-down together. My wife and I hug. If I get her to buy this theory, we’ll both be getting more hugs from each other. I think she’s buying it.
That’s actually the easy answer. The challenge is having concrete suggestions for those who have no safe or permitted physical contact. I do find that contact with visuals, like Zoom and Skype, are far better than contact by modalities which are audio only.
Love & Hugs