For those living alone, (or even those who aren’t) a lack of human touch has a very real impact.
Matt Hancock’s recent announcement that we might need to refrain from hugging anyone outside of those we immediately live with until a coronavirus vaccine is developed, is somewhat of a hammer blow to those who have been without human touch for over 8 weeks already.
This article asks, is virtual hugging the answer? It sounds like a strange concept, but adapting and compensating may be the stopgap we need.
Touch conveys a huge amount of emotion, that words alone can’t communicate, and studies have shown that touch can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and trigger the release of the serotonin, the hormone that regulates happiness.
It’s not just us humans missing contact. Zoo’s have been monitoring animals in captivity for signs of behavioural change without human visitors. Whilst some species are thriving, others are showing distress. This Japanese aquarium is inviting people to video call their eels to make sure they are reminded of humans.
So, once you get your head around the concept of virtual hugs and are feeling better - why not check in on the eels and pass on the feeling!