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Social Distancing: I’m Missing the Hugs


Those of you who know me, know that hugs are a big part of who I am, so it feels as if social distancing has robbed me of a measure of my humanity.

It distresses me to look back on the first time I turned away a hug.  I was enjoying the fresh air by the pond near my home, as I engaged in conversation with a gentleman a safe 8 feet away.

Suddenly, a dear friend came rushing up to me with arms outstretched. Instinctively, I raised my arms in karate defensive mode.

“Don’t come any closer.  Don’t touch me,” I blurted out.

“Not even an arm bump?”

“No, I’m keeping the 6- foot distance.”

I don’t know who was more hurt, my friend for being rejected, or me for rejecting him. 

In these serious times of coronavirus, I fully understand the life-saving importance of social distancing. But this whole unnatural practice is so out of character for me.  It got me thinking.  I’ve started carrying a tally in my head of all the hugs I’ve failed to give and failed to accept. Going back over the past two weeks of cancelled parties, postponed concerts, staying out of the local bars, lounges and restaurants, I estimate my total to be 425 hugs that I have not shared.

I’ve been focusing on how to convey the feeling of hugs in other ways.  Through the intonations of my voice in telephone conversations that replace long texts.  In my written words on Facebook, making sure that each like is accompanied by an encouraging comment.

In the meantime, I’m sending this hug to replace the ones I can’t give you in person.

On the day the ban is lifted, you will find me in downtown Safety Harbor on the southeast corner of Main Street and Bayshore Boulevard.  I invite my friends to join me and collect all the hugs that I didn’t give you in the weeks during the crisis.

You say you don’t know me? No worries. If you’re reading my blog, I consider you my friend, so come and collect your hugs.

written by Amy Bryant, Safety Harbor Resident Blogger
Author of “You Can Go Home Again“


  1. The hugs are the emotional feeling that connect us with our loved ones. No doubt this era taught us the importance of hugs. Due to social distancing, now we all miss those hugs from our friends and lovers.

  2. Amy, you hit the nail on the head. It’s frustrating not being able to hug our friends! I miss seeing you around town and those hugs we always give each other. I hope to meet up with you at Main and S Bayshore soon! Hugs my friend!

  3. Notice how often women answer a post and very few men do so. I think it’s because they’re used to us thinking for them!

  4. Amy, you made us smile and empathize! Will be at the corner of Main St. and Bayshore – collecting my hug – when the time comes. Til then, let’s all stay well.

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