Hugs. We all miss them. It has been said that they are the thing that most people have missed during the pandemic. And what we most look forward to doing post-pandemic. With family and friends, there is no greater gesture of connection. I wasn’t always a hugger, being very shy, but I had good friends in my college days who did it so naturally that I learned to appreciate and crave it.

During the pandemic, my wife and I were fortunate to have each other close and so we were not deprived of this comfort. I feel sad for those, especially singles, who did not have someone close by to hug. We couldn’t get together with family so that we did miss, but at least we had each other.

Hugs are the cement of friendship and also a strong statement of support when dealing with someone in grief. A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. I think a hug is worth more, especially when you don’t have the words to say. People think they must share some comfort and are distressed when they can’t find the words to say. For someone in grief often no words are needed, except to say ‘i’m sorry, I care, I’m here.’ And being there includes a hug if the griever is comfortable with it. Nothing says I care more than a hug.

There are a lot of people who survived the pandemic but who had loved ones who didn’t. They will need those hugs. And don’t forget the lonely ones who had a hard time being isolated. Let’s be on the lookout for hugs needed.