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LEIPZIG, GERMANY - AUGUST 22: Participants wearing FFP2 protective face masks take a concessions break during a performance by singer Tim Bendzko at the RESTART-19 Covid transmission risk assessment study in a concert setting at an indoor arena during the coronavirus pandemic on August 22, 2020 in Leipzig, Germany. The study, organized by the University Hospital of Halle (Saale), simulates a live concert venue with several thousand audience members in three different scenarios in order to develop risk reduction measures for large events. Participants wear tracer devices to track their movements and sensors measure aerosol currents in the arena. All participants had to undergo a Covid-19 test within the last 48 hours and test negative in order to take part.

With vaccinations on the rise and restrictions on those who get them loosening, hugs are making a comeback. Which is amazing news for grandparents that have been waiting to hug their grandchildren for months or couples that have been dating strictly over Zoom… But it’s not something everyone is looking forward to.

For people that love their personal space, the past year has been like Christmas every day. They’ve lived without the fear of some germ-ridden person enveloping them with little to no warning and without their consent. Take 27-year-old opera singer Shantal Martin for example. Standing at 5-foot-2 whenever she is involved with a hug her face is usually swallowed by someone’s chest. For her this year has been a reprieve from “being smothered by any of her aunts’ perfumes.”

While research shows hugs have the power to slow down our nervous systems, and reduce stress, for many these warm embraces do just the opposite. In fact, they were probably hoping that they would be replaced with a fist bump, or even better, a nice bow from a distance. But alas they’re coming back and there’s only so long you can avoid a hugger.

Source: Washington Post