NROP: How Hugging Became an Extreme Sport.

It almost broke my heart the other day, when I read about a woman dying without ever holding her newborn child. The mother got diagnosed with COVID-19 days before giving birth to baby Heaven. Upon delivery, the child was taken away as a safety precaution. Once the patients got discharged home, it was recommended that the woman quarantine away from the rest of the family. Even though she requested that her baby girl be in the room with her, the husband would not agree. Everyone thought she was going to recover. However, the very next day, she returned to the hospital after having trouble breathing. The woman ended up suffering from a heart attack and brain damage (How long was she not breathing for?), and had subsequently died. Without embracing a child she carried for nine months and then birthed. How agonizing must that be?

I wonder if the woman was angry at her husband for not letting her hold the baby once they returned home.

I wonder if he feels guilty at all for not granting her such a basic privilege.

I wonder if her condition worsened because of how upset she was about the situation regarding her newborn.

Not being able to be there with others this year touched me personally. I was unable to attend my father’s funeral due to mandatory quarantine. I was unable to console others due to the very same reason. I was unable to visit another family member at a seniors’ home due to their strict lock-down policy. They ended up passing away. No doubt they felt alone and forgotten…

One of my fellow bloggers recently shared they attended a funeral through Zoom due to pandemic-related restrictions. What strange times we live in.

A friend of a friend was unable to visit their parent at the hospital (earlier in the year) due to the no-visitors policy. All they could do was to rely on what the nurses told them over the phone. Being able to get a status update through the phone is an amazing thing (I had used that in the past myself). But, that should only be a supplement. (Of course, if your circumstances are different and you are not able to be there in person, that might be the best and ONLY course of action for you.) Usually, whenever possible, people gather by the patient’s bedside to observe the care first-hand. How do you know what to advocate for when you are not there to witness the situation. Back to those friends of friends. They were unable to get a clear answer of what was going on, what the patients was treated for, etc. The family member, being elderly, was not able to communicate everything to them. Unfortunately, the patient did not make it. The family was devastated that they could not be there to observe, to support, to say goodbye.

These are just a few examples, but I am sure there are more of such stories. So much heartache and pain. I am not an overly affectionate people. I much prefer a handshake, a wave, or a simple nod to a hug. Am I the only one to find hugging those you meet for the first time strange? Hugs are a to-go-to method for many. For when they spend time with their family, when they meet someone they have not seen in a long time, when they get introduced to strangers. Many people count on hugs to make them feel better. To help them feel assured, cared for, and loved.

When I wrote about Santa coming to town, most of you agreed that interacting with the jolly old fellow through a plexi-glass was anticlimactic. That was how I felt about this recent article on a “new invention” in Italy. This plastic curtain with sleeves at various heights gives young patients the ability to hug their parents without risking COVID-19 exposure. Two people can hug and touch with only a thin layer of plastic between them. The material allows for the two people hugging to feel each other’s body heat, which I guess helps make the embrace feel more “real.”

While I might not be as appreciative of the curtain as some, I do have to applaud the hospital workers who managed to put this together for the sake of their parents. As with any other profession, there are people who just do their job (if even that), and those who put their hearts and souls into what they do. Hospitals are places that no one is fond of. Normally, if you are there, you are having a miserable time. Yet, some of the staff members go above and beyond to make you feel better and to grant some of your wishes. This is such an example. Many kids supposedly expressed their desire (in a letter to Santa) to hug their family while they were being hospitalized. And so their wish was granted. I can only imagine how scary it must be a young kid to be admitted to a hospital and not able to have their parents hold their hands along the way.

A quick Internet search revealed other places coming up with similar solutions. For example:a memory care facility in Washington, or a teacher in Brazil.

On an unrelated, more ridiculous, less important note – Did you hear about Ryan Reynolds and Khloe Kardashian complaining about their first world problems? Apparently, the toys their kids got (unsure if from them or others) required some assembly. Back in the day, putting things together was a great way to spend some quality time with your child. Now, we want everything to be ready to go. Khloe realized that her nails might not be practical for simple folk living because they make handling small parts difficult. I could not help but sigh. Maybe this is my golden ticket? I posted a Tweet, announcing my toy putting together skills. You buy the toy(s), fly me to your house, pay me to assemble them, and voila! Everyone is happy!

  • What do you think of the “Hugging Curtain?”
  • Have you had the chance to try it out?
  • Would you want to try it out if given the chance?
  • Have you come up with your own way to hug others safely? (Why did this make me think of condoms?)
  • What do you think of the problems celebrities faced during Christmas?
  • Did you have to put any toys together this Christmas?

Stay golden,

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42 thoughts on “NROP: How Hugging Became an Extreme Sport.

Add yours

  1. I guess the ‘hugging curtain’ is better than nothing – though it’s not going to substitute the skin to skin contact babies need to bind with parents of course… Plus I worry about inventions that bring more plastic into the world. I was reflecting on this today, the negative effect C-19 is also having on the social skills of children and young people. They’re not meeting face to face nearly so much, of course, and not meeting and interacting with new people. If this goes on, the effect could be long-lasting. Big hopes for 2021 and that vaccine…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Indeed. I am glad the curtain made a difference in some people’s lives.

      COVID-19 definitely saved us on carbon emissions for a while when people weren’t driving around like madmen. I guess it’s still going on (on a limited scale, though) with many working from home and not commuting to/from work. However, the amount of 1-time use masks and gloves and face shields, etc… Incredible!

      Social skills. It makes me wonder. I think there already was a huge skift before the pandemic with kids communicating through social media more than face-to-face, but now it’s been exaggerated even more.

      You just sparked a thought – are we inevitably creating generations of introverts?

      Liked by 3 people

  2. As one who rather likes their personal space, I have never been big on hugs but I can see how how for those it’s a big deal would appreciate the plastic curtain invention…
    A quick nod and a firm handshake should suffice but then compared to hugging it could be somewhat impersonal and looks like the next generation of people are going to wind up anti social used to interfacing with the world via social networks 🤣
    The end video of the human race
    Maybe a hug could save the world?

    PS I assemble things and dissemble things who knew it could be a valuable past time 🤣🤣

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe some activists were right all along – a hug can fix anything!

      Riight? I thought if I got overwhelmed with the orders, I’d take you in as my partner. Or have the world split into continents and have a representative be responsible for their own territory. However, so far, no orders. I think it’s because people don’t plan in advance (just like I talked about on your latest post about traffic jams, etc). Come December of next year, they will be begging for our services!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And then they will turn us into unreliable service providers simply because their lack of foresight made them wait till the last moment to place an order 🤣
        Unless we build an assembly line of bots 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “One word: plastic.”

    I think I’ll invent an android simulacrum to stand in to hug in unsafe, toxic or virulent situations. “I am only a robot, but the hugs I give come to you from your family. Sleep well, die in peace. Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was going to say that if you hug a robot, you cannot feel their body temperature (which apparently is crucial in making the hug appear real), but then realized that I wrote about those sex robots that look and feel like a human. Hmmm… once austracised, now might be embraced.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. This is the last thing I’m looking at this morning before getting on with some other stuff only now I’m crying. That new mom story: that is the worst. I don’t even know what to do with the weird mix of anger and sad over something in the past I can’t fix. Brutal.

    Like you and others in the comments, I’m okay with the reduction in hugging. It’s not my go-to behaviour. I have a big space bubble. And yet. I think I miss giving my friends and family the occasional hug.

    I’ve been lucky. No personal grief or direct losses during the pandemic. My heart breaks for those whose experience is otherwise. We can’t do the things we’ve always done, need to do, cultural things, healing things. It’s so hard.

    I’m not sure about the hug condom. I think that’s probably because I’m home and healthy. I think maybe if I was in a hospital bed, alone and scared, this thing would be the bee’s knees.

    I watched a video by a sports star yesterday on Twitter. I don’t know who he is, or the sport, or the team. But he basically ranted that rich, entitled athletes should shut up, stop whining, and do their jobs. They get big money for easy work. The same is true of celebrities.

    I hate Khloe Kardashian’s nails. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I’m flattered you were able to fit me in before the rest of your busy day, but sad that I made you cry. It really was heartbreaking for me to read, too.

      Good point – who knows how we’d act if in the hospital for weeks on end, unable to see a familiar face. I guess, at that point, the staff becomes “family.”

      I low-key hope that with the decrease in movie productions (and other celebrity things) will lower the number of those entitled brats. But then I realize that only means more Instagram “influencers.” I guess we do what we’ve gotta do. They have to pay for their lavish whims somehow…

      I wonder if Khloe thought about having nails that are her own and not 3ft long.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wonder about rich people with nails like that who say things like “I’m just a regular person.” Honey, with those talons you can’t brush your teeth or wipe your butt.

        The day was productive. The four hours I put in so far at any rate lol. The end of the year always inspires the cleaning demon. Suddenly, the cobwebs on the unreachable ceiling become unbearable. Thank god for duct tape and wrapping paper rolls 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You made me luck with the “or wipe your butt.” True that. That’s why people have bidets, implants, and teeth whitening procedures. Ahh, all these great things I’m missing out on…

          ROFL you sound like a Ghost-Busters! I was expecting a guest for Christmas (who never made it), so I cleaned then. The hope is to keep it clean as long as you can… Well…

          Liked by 1 person

  5. But what if she did hug the baby and the baby got COVID?
    We either have to take this disease completely serious or not at all.
    And that sounds extremely harsh, but where do we draw the line with exceptions?

    Khloe Kardashian might be my least favorite celebrity on Earth, but I don’t blame her for complaining about assembling a toy. WE ALL DO IT.
    I don’t think it’s Twitter worthy content, but she needs to keep herself in the picture.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, she was pregnant when she was diagnosed with COVID-19. Technically, the baby could have been infected then. Maybe they could have wrapped her in plastic to allow the hug. Or something like that if they were THAT worried.

      This is definitely a difficult debate. How worried should we be?

      I can assemble toys for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I guess a new born baby is very fragile. But if there would be a way for the mother to hold the baby, it should have been made possible.

    What if she did hold the baby and it still got COVID? Imagine the criticism.

    To stay on the topic of Khloe.
    She was diagnosed with Covid and spent the mandatory 2 weeks in quarantine. The only way she saw her daughter was through the window.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pandemic aside, I’m not sure how I’d feel if someone I was meeting for the first time (who wasn’t family) just came up and hugged me. I suppose it might make for a good ice breaker… But then, they also might get punched, elbowed, or kneed somewhere.

    Anyway. “Hugging curtain,” not my thing, but I can see how it might be extremely helpful for some people. Maybe even most people.

    That story of the woman and her baby bothers me… I wonder about the behind the scenes of things like that. Anything of a personal nature that becomes “news” is likely only half the truth, or so says my cynic, anyway. Particularly when there’s money or death involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a very thoughtful post. So many people have lost loved ones and not been there to comfort them and say goodbye, I can’t imagine. I think the plastic curtain is better than nothing. At least they are able to be there for those they love and care for. I had a friend who lost her husband and they had a family (her, her children, his brother) only funeral. It is just not the same. I do worry about our kids and their socialization, but I also believe they are resilient and will adapt when things get back to normal or whatever the new normal is. I can’t believe how awful it would have been for that mother and what guilt her husband probably felt. The whiners (I had to put my kids toys together) those who refuse to follow the guidelines getting sick and wanting sympathy and people who can’t or won’t try to look for the positive things they have in life have my sympathy for their selfishness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Death is definitely a topic of taboo. We focus on protecting the healthy but we don’t like to talk about those that are ill and on their death beds. I read a post the other day by a person with stage 4+ lung cancer who is going through all this alone due to all the restrictions. It’s something we don’t really think of unless it touches us directly. Same with, as you mentioned, funerals, and grieving. Tough times…

      Liked by 3 people

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