A world with COVID-19

Confessions of a ‘Sad’ Serial ‘Non’-Hugger

I feel like I woke up in some strange dream that I can’t get out of. A bizarre version of Footloose, where hugs are banned, not music. A real nightmare for people who thrive on connection. It doesn’t always have to be a physical thing, there are people I am happy not to hug, but nothing beats a long warm comfy embrace from someone who truly cares about you.

Photo by Lucas Lenzi on Unsplash

Hugging just makes the world a better place and to distance yourself from, well… EVERYBODY. It’s hard on everyone but especially huggers. But I’m learning how to adapt.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am totally a cheerleader for STAYING AT HOME! I am embracing, STAYING AT HOME! I think everyone should be STAYING AT HOME if they can, where they can, when they can.

Photo by Raj Vaishnaw on Pexels

But I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, who are out there fighting this thing from the frontlines, all medical staff, grocery store workers, post office workers, pharmacies, teachers for a time and more.

Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives.

Just like the business around us who are forced to close their doors (to save lives), we too have to reinvent ourselves. Like the airline workers, they are being trained to help out in the hospitals-cleaning and changing bed linen. Or the café owner who is still in business by selling their yummy bakery goods at a table in the front of their now-closed café. Or the famous chefs, who are now selling their delicious pasta online.

So now I send my hugs and love solely via texts messages, FaceTime and phone calls. It’s a bit like everyone has moved to their own country or planet.

The worry is real.

It’s a scary, uncertain time. I tell my kids that one day they will be able to tell their kids about all of this. As we stay at home and shelter our little ones from the big bad frightening news on TV, it’s almost like it’s not real. Like the whole world is on an extended ‘staycation’. Especially if you are lucky enough to still have an income and not directly know anyone who has contracted the virus.

But each morning I watch the 6 am news headlines, while my family sleeps, just to see what world I have woken up to. The world is changing hourly. And I especially worry about my loved ones overseas. Two of my siblings are nurses and many other family members work in hospitals. They are on the frontline in a country which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases world-wide. I’ve heard their war stories. It’s not pretty.

CANCELLED

Just three weeks ago, I was out to dinner with two good friends. We caught up and had burgers in the city (such great burgers). We laughed, we hugged, we sat together as our mobiles kept dinging with new information. This was the day after the Grand Prix was cancelled. I think that’s the first time I really noticed the panic buying, the NBA cancelled the rest of their season. The Melbourne comedy festival, The Yackandandah Music Festival, Sydney Writers festival, all cancelled. Every gathering over 500 people, CANCELLED.

Just two weeks ago, there were 198,000 cases of COVID-19 in the world with less than 8,000 deaths. Today we have over 785,000 cases and 30,000 more deaths today. This thing is silent. It’s invisible and it’s shaping our future by the hour.

Just one week ago, the walking etiquette was to smile or say good morning as you pass someone on the trail. Now when I go for a walk, I cross the street or if I have to pass them, we give each other plenty of room while trying not to offend each other. And nobody was surprised when they finally postpone the XXXII Tokyo 2020 Olympics until July 2021. All you can do is smile and know that these are weird uncertain times and hopefully this will all be a thing of the past come September. Yes, September, fingers crossed.

Are you family-isolating?

Try to give each other space inside the house. Share Netflix time or leave someone home alone while the rest of you go out on your nightly walk. For those of you who celebrate Easter, decorate your house. Do Easter crafts. Make bread together. Go on bike rides and take selfies out in front of all your friends’ houses and send the photo to them later. Learn how to make pasta. Treat this time as a gift of being together.

Make cookies and drop them off at your neighbours’ house. Ring the doorbell just to make them nervous and excited all at the same time. I can’t tell you the last time my doorbell rang.

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

Reacquaint yourself with all the little things that make you smile. Like, have a shower with your favorite playlist turned up loud. Start a gratitude journal and write 4 things that you are thankful for, watch an old movie that you love and try not to cringe when they stand so close to each other and know that someday soon we will be able to have dinners and birthday parties and gatherings again. But in the meantime, tell me what’s going on at your house? What you are doing to keep smiling during this crazy. Let me know, I need ideas…

13 thoughts on “Confessions of a ‘Sad’ Serial ‘Non’-Hugger”

  1. I’ll be looking forward to one of your famous hugs when the time is right. And a burger. xx

  2. Great stuff. It’s the strangest of times. Life comes down to home, the supermarket and walking the dog and work- if you are lucky. Stay strong my friend.

  3. Yes strange times but just thinking of all of the great times to be had catching up with all that we have missed

  4. The Las Vegas Strip is dark. The schools are closed. These are frightening times indeed. I’m sending you a virtual hug.

  5. We are busier than ever, at home. Getting creative. I think we’ll run out of rainbow paint soon. Making extra efforts to decorate the front of the house, including a basket of activities for young children to take home and create. We are now receiving their artwork back in the mailbox. We’re getting everyone involved in extra cleaning and sorting through cupboard. Making special birthday cards and huge banners for those birthdays that need to be spent isolated. Today we’ll make a huge sign for my grandma, turning 101 in a week. There’ll be no visitors for her this year as her nursing home is in lockdown. Although there’s underlying sadness for the situation the world is in, we are taking this time as an opportunity. Hope everyone can stay safe and do the best we can to get through. As me in a few weeks/months though, perhaps new challenges are ahead.
    Love to you all

  6. Gorgeous woman, a million virtual hugs for you.

    This stress and uncertainty is terrible, and nobody would wish this on their worst enemy. All of the crazy joy that’s coming out of this reminds me of you, though. (Like the hilarious photos of what people have been doing in lockdown, or the people showing up to their local supermarkets in corona-proof scuba outfits…).

    Please let me know if you need anything! xxx

    1. Oh, Anita! Did you see that ‘Star Girl’ is on Disney plus? I’m going to watch it and think of you.
      Thanks for your comment. It is so CRAZY! I keep forgetting we are actually on Easter school holidays and keep wanting to give Gabe school work. haha. Be safe my friend xx

  7. Great read – as always! We are cherishing this time together. Walks, rides or scootering along the paths in the beautiful open spaces close to home. Lots of creative activities at home. Love to you and the family. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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