‘We can’t run over and give big hugs.’
I am watching the screen and copying the teacher’s movements. Using my fingertips, I lightly brush the skin of my arm in one direction, towards the heart. I see similar movements happening across all the other thumbnail windows, which give me a view into people’s homes around the world. While I continue to sweep my fingers from my knuckles to my collar bone, I look down at the counter. It tells me there are 61 people online in this session, 61 people brushing their arms together, in this moment, on this morning.
This is an experience of physical touch in the time of social distancing. It is Thursday morning and I am taking part in a Body-Mind Centering class via, the online meeting platform of the moment, Zoom. A piece of software, once primarily used by the corporate sector for remote business meetings, that has been adopted with gusto by anyone and everyone who wants to create communal space in our current state of global lockdown. The highly contagious Covid-19 Coronavirus keeping us humans physically separated right now means, while I sit in self-isolation worrying about the health of friends, family and frankly the whole human race, I keep thinking about the memory of touch.
Read the full essay on Medium, see link below…