By Alison Vaughn

The coronavirus positive case numbers are rising exponentially which is making it hard for people to socialize and embrace each other.  The hugs, handshakes and high-fives are also a ban. The pandemic has created a stir of fear and there is a need to maintain 6 feet distance in public. Now, how to hug keeping the 6 feet distance is a question.

A few safe hugging ways

  • Position your face away. It is to hug keeping your face away. The face-to-face has the risk of transmitting the virus. You may hug keeping your faces away and give a quick embrace. Avoid cheeks or face position in the same direction. Hug your children around the waist, it will keep them away from your face.
  • Hold your breath. You can hug each other by holding your breath, so that there is no viral exposure on each other’s faces. A quick hug is possible by holding your breath; thus, you can avoid inhaling virus particles. Once done with hugging, move back keeping two-meter distance.
  • Replace hugs. Instead of limiting the hugs, you can replace it with casual acquaintances. You can show signs of embracing by crossing your own arms and it will keep you safe. Avoid hugging anyone having covid-19 symptoms.

Physical and social distancing are the mantras of today with the pandemic all around. The six feet distance is the guideline to maintain that it is fair to take a hug, handshake or cuddle. Humans require the need of touch and thrive on physical touch. The distance makes people feel lonely and depressed.

There are alternatives and you can continue with hugs.  There is a way of being social and pleasant. It also offers psychological benefits.  Use your imagination to be specific and vivid.

  • You may close eyes and ask your partner to do so. Silently feel the embrace without getting close. You will feel an emotional response that you will feel close to your heart.
  • Go virtual. Convey your emotions through virtual touch. It offers a potential touch. Psychologically and technologically, conveying emotion is possible over virtual touch. Like the virtual handshakes, envision the movement and feel the vibrations over your phone.
  • Seek solace through video games. Use the avatar to get the bonding.

If we all practice the six feet rule, we can lower the death rate and get through this pandemic quicker.

A final thought, a SMILE is a wonderful way to greet a person. When you smile, the world smiles back!


Alison Vaughn is founder of Detroit-based Jackets for Jobs, Inc., a nonprofit that provides career skills training and clothing to job seekers. Jackets for Jobs, Inc is recognized by ABC’s The View, NBC’s Today Show and NASDAQ  as a worthy organization to support. Vaughn is a sought after public speaker and community advocate. She is a Comcast Newsmaker, Goldman Sachs Scholar and honored as Crain’s Notable women in Non-Profits. She’s also been featured in Entrepreneur & Fortune Magazine.

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