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Opinion: Love in the time of Coronavirus

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This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

How do you express love during a coronavirus outbreak?

This is a coronavirus selfie. One of my guests today on A Woman’s View, a program I host for KSL that airs every Sunday and in podcast, coined that phrase. We usually take a picture together after the show, but we’ve heard so much about the importance of maintaining “social distance,” that she came up with the idea of staggering us. So, Carol Tuttle, Shantel McBride, Lois Collins and I did a coronavirus selfie today.

We laughed, and I said goodbye at the elevator without hugging them.

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It felt so strange. I ALWAYS hug my guests on A Woman’s View. I am one of those people – a hugger. I ask permission, of course. You have to do that in 2020. But if I’m granted permission, I say goodbye with a hug. Sometimes hello AND goodbye.

I blame my father for this proclivity of mine. He hugged everyone, too. I loved hugging him and watching him be open and loving with other people. I suppose I came from a family of huggers.

Not any more.

Expressions of love during the coronavirus outbreak

Now I sometimes move my arms like I’m going to hug from a distance. I give them an “air hug.” My intentions are clear. My face shows the love I feel, but my arms cannot embrace.

I understand the need during this difficult time to limit our contact with each other, to protect the other person as much as yourself. I understand it in my brain, but not in my heart. I understand that shaking hands is possibly the most threatening because our hands likely have more germs. Hence the frequent reminders to wash our hands, well and often. I get it. And yet, we all need the love and warmth that touch previously provided.

Perhaps we should adopt the Japanese custom of bowing. I always liked the respect of the bow. I think I could embrace that. I know it’s not common in our culture, but it could become so. We could have a bow PSA campaign. Bowing could become cool, and before you know it, handshakes would be a thing of the past.

Still, I want to express my heart without hugs, love in the time of coronavirus. Will I have to limit hugging to my family? I did today. I came home and hugged and hugged my family. I had to get a day’s worth of hugging out on my kids. They probably wondered what was wrong with me. Social distancing will not be practiced in my home, but for the rest of you – I am sending an air hug.