There are many things that the current COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed. Forcing us all to readdress what is important is often painful, but also can be fulfilling if you look upon it positively. We are distant from each other like never before, we work alone and are connected only by cyberspace. We wear masks publicly and we stay at least 2meters away from everyone else.
It is a certain fear that is starting to become engrained in us, the stress of ensuring others around us are far enough away and doing as they should. Agonising if someone dares to step inside your distancing bubble. We wave goodbye to our friends without ever touching — and this could be the worst part of all.
When we hug, our hearts connect, and we know that we are not separate beings. Hugging with mindfulness and concentration can bring reconciliation, healing, understanding, and much happiness. The practice of mindful hugging has helped so many people to reconcile with each other — fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, friends and friends, and so many others. — Nhat Hanh
No longer shaking hands is one thing, but the avoidance of clutching those in an embrace takes away a deeply important part of connection. Thich Nhat Hanh recognises this in his practice of hugging meditation. The other person becomes very real when they are in contact with you, they feel what you are expressing and experience the sensory feedback of your pressure against their skin. A level of connection and mindfulness that nothing else comes close to experiencing.
Missing embracing those around you is a natural loss, and one that we all morn. Something that we should not forget as things progress, hope is that we can return to a certain level of normalcy and hug each other once again.