I am torn whether I want to write something critical again about the current situation the world and all of us are in, or spend my time on more positive things. The topic COVID-19 seems to be almost all consuming and very difficult to avoid, so I might as well write my very unscientific and personal view on something I saw recently, that I simply cannot get out of my head.
To be honest I am sometimes terrified of what is happening around us. Terrified of so many people being uncritical and still believing that the measures are for our safety and our own good. I saw a television report a few days ago. Usually I avoid these reports and the main stream news, as I find it absolutely impossible to bear. Even if you watch something else, they have found a new way to terrorise the greater population with an ad where people pathetically describe how awful this disease is and how someone in the family died (I have never seen something like this for influenza, diabetes, cardiac disease, stroke, cancer etc.), or how they were affected by COVID, so television is really not an option any longer, at least for me.
But I am drifting off… Back to the television report I saw. The report was about an 80-something year old man that has had no contact to his family in a long time. A man that had worked all his life, that is now lonely and devastated. Now here comes the great news: his granddaughter that he hadn’t seen for a very long time is on her way to visit him. Yes, she can finally see her grandfather. You see nurses hanging a plastic curtain that has two plastic sleeves on each side in a hallway. What happened next made me and my 17 year old son cry. The man stands on one side of the plastic curtain and the granddaughter on the other side. Both are gloved (although the sleeves are closed at the ends – I assume so they don’t need to disinfect or clean the sleeves after) and stick their arms into these sleeves and are now allowed to hug one another. What made my son and me weep (and trust me when I tell you that a 17 year old young man does not cry easily) was the humiliating scene, the undignified contact between two family members and worst of all was to see the mans face pressed into a plastic curtain which reminded of a crime scene where someone is suffocated with a plastic bag over their heads. What terrified me more than anything else is that it actually made the man happy for a moment. How desperate must someone be to be happy about hugging plastic? To top it off, this was sold as an innovation and something wonderful. Am I too critical that I cannot see the beauty in this?
Just a week or so ago we picked up one of my sons friends and his mother came outside with him. As I had not met her before, I got out of the car to say hello and introduce myself – I am a polite person – and walked up to her and stretched out my hand, which she took. Immediately she looked at me and said that she could not even remember when she last shook someones hand. She smiled at me and seemed almost grateful for this simple gesture of normality. It shows the need we have to be in “touch”, to actually touch other people. We are not made to be physically isolated from one another. It is, for example common knowledge (at least I think so) that babies that have everything except physical contact have less chance of survival than babies that are loved, touched, cuddled, lovingly cared for and caressed. It is no different with us big people. So no matter what anyone tells you, use your common sense. Before this socalled pandemic, we did not hug or kiss people when we had symptoms of illness, be it a common cold or a stomach flu and it is no different now.
SO KEEP ON HUGGING!!!