When we hug again

April 20, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

It was a friend of mine who was the first to call me a “hug monster.” I accepted the title as the truth and he gave me a hug. Strangely enough, sometimes, a person I never met before gives me a hug. Right out in public. Right in front of anybody.

It has been really wonderful, being a self-confessed Hug Monster.

Well. Those were the days. Now, we can’t even shake hands; can’t even bump elbows. That came up at the last Opening Night at Theatre Orangeville, the one held for Too Close To Home on March 13. 

Someone said, “Do we still hug or just bump elbows?” So, we hugged and that was the last of them. 

It is perfectly okay to miss it – hugging. In fact, it would be terrible if ever we talked ourselves into not missing it. That goes for all the rest. We have all heard about people having dinners together online – Facetime – Zoom- whatever and it’s all good. Grandparents seeing their young loved ones, shiny faces beaming across the waves – sweethearts separated for some reason; friends you haven’t seen much, now there’s the need for virtual proximity.

Our personal space becomes huge: from a minimum of six feet to anywhere in the wide world. Our inclination to reach out is even more encompassing than it ever was, which is hard to believe, considering how all encompassing it seemed to be before. 

Some of it is the status quo; much of it is just making do. The difference probably is that people who were not so involved online, have become much more so. 

Right now, this is of a necessity but there are (always) plenty of opinions, saying this will be the end of interest in real, physical connections, as many folk feared was becoming the case anyway. 

At the other end are those who are sure, once the all-clear is rung, we will rush into each other’s arms and everyone will go to the theatre. How all that will pan out, at this moment, there certainly is a lot of pressure, persuasion, encouragement for us all to keep in touch, stay in contact, call each other to check in, check on.

I can’t help feeling there are so many more conversations. So much being said. So many images of Donald. Are we, in fact, seeing more of him than ever, how he is increasingly painful to watch: him swimming in the sea of Coronavirus controversy: fighting the science, grasping at scapegoats. 

It may be the daily accountings from our Prime Minister, standing in front of his home, promising and promising “We are there for you..” his recently grown moustache and beard, no doubt meant to reduce his pretty-boy look, growing saltier by the day – bless him; or the non-stop Coronavirus news, the numbers up and numbers down; the hot and cold running opinions and – ye gods –  the forecasting: all this talking and grinding tough tales must account for why there seems to be a massive increase in conversations.

Then, there is all the news about the number of people dying in long-term care homes – like a disease driven geronticide, with the irresistible suspicion of purpose.


Incredible – it is only a matter of three and a bit months of recognition and acknowledgement as full blown. So much talk about a world changed forever, but I’m not so sure. There are still a lot of airplanes flying over my head, passenger planes that I wonder where they’re flying from and to. The morning and evening traffic news on the CBC still reminds one that the highways are blocked and drivers are still crashing into each other. Seems strange, when everything is locked down…

Construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline is continuing and is “well underway,” with the Supreme Court of Canada refusing to hear concerns about it by Indigenous groups, the cost of the construction rising and, most seriously, the danger to the killer whales in the proposed ports, which are also under construction and other environmental concerns.

Oil production is being cut by 10% to bring prices under control.

Facebook is probably bigger and fatter than ever and I wonder – because I don’t know – about the increase in bullying and scams online….

With all this reflection, how much of these months of a restrained and preoccupied population, world-wide, is being used by industry to make sure the same-old world is maintained?

Perhaps, as we stay in contact with our old and new pals, we should also be watching the other stuff on the news and telling the media we want to hear it.

Let our worries not entirely cloud our responsibilities to also understand what else is happening in our world.

Meanwhile, online dinner parties are likely here to stay. After all, it effectively spreads out the job of doing the dishes.


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