Wednesday, September 30, 2020

21st Century Untouchable Lepers

 Nothing is so healing as the human touch. 

                                        Bobby Fischer*  


As we enter the eighth month of the 'New Now,' did any of us ever imagine that masks would become the new fashion statement?   Who ever dreamed that shaking hands, a gentle hug, a loving touch, a kiss on the cheek, could possibly be a life threatening occasion?

At the farmer's market last week, I ran into a friend.   As required, we were both masked.  As I approached my friend, with my unseen smile under the mask, to say "hello" -- rather than the normal hug we usually exchange -- she took 2-3 steps away from me.   I immediately felt like a 21st Century Untouchable Leper.  

Thank goodness for Zoom and other virtual sites that allow us to virtually hang out with friends.   I attended my first Zoom birthday party last weekend and it was grand fun and lifted my spirits.  Virtual hugs, while nice, are not the same as arms embracing one another.  I now not only give myself good-morning and good-night hugs;  I hug myself after I practice my piano,  write a blog and anything I do that I'm proud to have done.  But none of that captures the gentle, loving, soft touch from another.

The isolation and touch deprivation have led to moments of irritableness, despair and depression.   I recognize for myself that perhaps the virus is not the worst thing -- isolation and disconnect are pretty bad, too.  Massage, with masks, is now available and I'm in.   Only now, rather than every other week -- it will be a weekly occurrence.  


Bobby Fischer, Chess Grandmaster

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