Will Hugging Happen Again?

This morning, I was looking back over some of our documentation from this past year. I was really taken by these photographs …

… especially in light of our new COVID-19 reality. I couldn’t help but notice how in these photographs and many others, physical closeness is certainly evident. Between kids. Between adults. Between kids and adults. In many ways, most of us crave this closeness.

  • Maybe there’s a security in having others around.
  • Maybe touch has a calming effect.
  • Maybe this is just another way in which we connect. 

But these reflections on human contact have me thinking, as what will “six feet apart” look like in a school context? Right now, kids are at home with their families. They can still hug their parents and stay close to their siblings, as they’re all within the same household. Going out on walks might have them learning more about “social distancing,” but when students get back near their friends again, reality changes. What happens next?

  • Will children stay away from each other?
  • Will play be farther apart?

Transitioning back to school — whenever that occurs — will be hard for kids and adults. Young children may need those hugs more than ever before. In our new world, with our new knowledge, what will hugging look like? I want to stay safe, and I do take social distancing very seriously, as seen by the huge amount of time that I’ve spent at home recently. But I’m hoping that we have a time again where hugs can be given without fear and closeness remains. When that will happen, I’m not sure, but I have to believe that it might. What about you? As the world comes together again, I wonder about the impact that the Coronavirus will have on play and social interactions, and I think that distance might be part of the way that it does. 


4 thoughts on “Will Hugging Happen Again?

  1. I think that is one of hardest things for me. I am the type of person who loves hugs. Children greet me in the morning and look for the side hug or rub on the back. Students who were in my classes years ago still come and find me on a daily basis and I think if I had to say no or turn away from it would hurt both of us.

    • Thanks Melissa! I feel the same way. I’ve never said no to a child before if he/she wants a hug, and many seek one out. Paula and I both find this. I just can’t seem to figure out what a solution would be, and how kids will feel when we start to say “no.” Will this just further increase their fear? This is something I continue to reflect on.


  2. I think people will be nervous about it at first! And we’ll be using so much hand sanitizer. Our care takers will have extra disinfecting duties. But I think we’ll slip back into our patterns soon enough. We are human, and humans crave connection. A vaccine will eventually be available and we’ll go on our merry way. That’s my take anyway.

    • Thanks Lisa! I hope that you’re right. A vaccine would certainly help, and hopefully there is some success with trials. I do wonder though if the impact of COVID-19 will make physical contact different than it was in the past. Will kids that tend to almost crave it so naturally think twice before seeking it out? Another impact of the Coronavirus on our society maybe …


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