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Touch me yes: In time of a great distance

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When can we touch again?

It has been a long seven months since lockdown because of the pandemic. Most of us missed events, occasions, plans, gatherings that were once part of our daily lives. It has made us anxious, depressed, and upset that it disrupted our usual routines. But because of the need to keep a distance from one another, it is becoming evident each day that the need to connect to someone physically is essential.

The health crisis we are currently facing brought us several stemming problems, one of which is the touch crisis. Opportunities to hold the hands of our loved ones, our family, and friends were taken away from us. Everyone can barely remember when the last time they shook someone’s hand.

It is Not Enough 

The collaborative study found out that even before the pandemic, people are already longing for the feeling of being touched or being in contact appropriately with another person. The Touch Test revealed a divide between people not personally getting enough touch in their lives and people believing that the present society isn’t providing us with the opportunity to satisfy our desire to touch.

Now that we face a great distance with another, we are left with ourselves pondering thoughts and anxiously making scenarios in our heads, hopeful that we can once again feel another body against us.

Me, Myself, and I

We have been spending more time rationing self-support to only ourselves as well most of the time. While it acknowledges one’s strength, it can only hold until so much has been pressed on an individual. Social isolation contributes to the escalation of our psychological strain as much as we worry about the pandemic. A study made by psychologist Julianne Holt-Lunstad revealed that keeping away from society and isolating is twice as harmful to one’s physical health as obesity.

In harsher conditions such as prison, isolation was found to trigger symptoms for many serious illnesses such as severe panic attacks and hallucinations, to name a few. The toll isolation is hanging on its victim’s shoulder; it can affect one’s immunity and response to sickness or disease, which leans towards being more vulnerable than others.

When Can We Touch Again

Our manner of displaying gestures may change because of the pandemic. It could be replaced by other forms of greetings such as nodding or bowing, as commonly observed in Asian culture. As much as we all long for the welcoming warmth of another skin, we must refrain from touching and find other ways on how to connect just until all of this is over.

An engineer by profession, a writer by calling.

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