Are Hugs and Kisses a Thing of the Past?

I’m sure you, just like me, waited anxiously to hear this week what the government’s roadmap for coming out of lockdown would look like. Since the announcement, I have been checking when I am allowed to do things and I’m happy to confirm I have booked flights to Italy in August. I shall finally meet my newest grandchild born in September and not yet hugged. 

Which brings me on to the purpose of my post, I understand that all restrictions will be dropped on 21st June (if everything goes to plan). I quote from the BBC – ‘All legal limits on social contact will be removed.’ Yay!  

If we have met before, you will know me to be a hugger and a kisser (cheeks of course). This was a custom I picked up whilst living all those wonderful years in Italy and one that I haven’t been able to drop completely since I returned to the UK. Having hugged and embraced people so naturally, for twenty years, it was quite a shock to realise people in Britain don’t respond so well to being hugged and kissed. In fact, some feel positively uncomfortable or, they feel like you’re making a move on them!

Anyway, Brits aside, what do you think is actually going to happen?  

I mean, after months and months of staying 2 meters apart, how comfortable will people feel at being hugged and kissed? Personally, I think we are all going to be erring on the side of caution. As much as I love my nearest and dearest, I don’t want to make them ill and potentially have them suffer or even die from coronavirus. 

Being a key worker in a secondary school, I have been lucky enough to have had my first vaccination at the beginning of January; I jumped at the opportunity when it was offered to me. By the end of March, I will have had my second dose which will offer me a higher immunity to the one I already have BUT, this doesn’t stop me from carrying the virus asymptomatically

I imagine many of my family members will be really happy to meet up, but not so happy to give me a hug just yet. I understand. I think there will be plenty of people that I would have hugged in the ‘olden days’ but I won’t be hugging anytime soon. And this is not because my fondness of them has diminished but because I want to protect them and me. 

Obviously, my kids in Italy don’t stand a chance. When I arrive in the summer, I am going to squeeze them tight with all my might and not let them go but I’m already thinking about potential quarantine time when I return and taking LFT tests with me.

How about you, who will you be kissing and  hugging in June?  

Photo credit: Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

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