Since mid-March, six of the world’s seven continents have been following one story. Globally, leaders have responded – some with vision and compassion; others, not so much – to that common threat of pandemic. Very real hardship has been realized by billions of people. Fear and hoarding and tribalism have popped up like a House-of-Horror version of Whack-a-Mole. 

There have also been remarkable acts of generosity, kindness, and sacrifice. Problem solvers have emerged with home-sewn face masks, home-made hand sanitizer, and home-cooked delicacies. Social/physical distancing has morphed into habit.  Gone is the handshake.  Never more the hug.

Noooooo, don’t ban hugging! You can have your handshake.  After all, the handshake – allegedly a reliable judge of character – has long been an oddity to me.  There are those who crush your fingertips; followed by those who crush your knuckles; and then the crush that brings you to your knees.  As a woman, I never quite knew whether I should grip enthusiastically, equally, or effeminately. Don’t ask me about the revolting limp and clammy handshake. No tears from me over the end of the handshake.

I do hope hugging survives the pandemic. A genuine hug lasts several seconds, floods the brain with good endorphins, and makes both the hugger and the huggee feel connected.  Please, do not make a Good Hug Hard to Find.  

In the meantime, a good cup of tea is like giving yourself a perfect 11-second hug. What an opportunity, fellow tea drinkers, to observe and experiment.  Is the first or second steep of your favorite whole leaf equivalent to a perfect hug? Maybe the third pot of the day?  Perhaps a Zoom tea party?

Image provided and copyright held by author