Sita and i touching each other for a picture!

Here is the 26th reflection from the church E-news. This is a part of Covid I find very difficult.

Researchers are proving that petting a dog or cat can lower blood pressure and make us feel better. I know being able to pet Sita and Cesar through this time has been great therapy for me – and I am sure for manby of you! ENJOY

There are so many terrible things about COVID that we all hate. The worst is the horrible loss of life and people being so sick that they may never be the same. Add to those problems like economic devastation, people going hungry, and not being able to spend holidays with loved ones and there are many sad stories.

Some people may find this strange, but one of the things I miss the most is the healing of touch and hugging. Some people may not miss this but I do. In the United States our cultural “norm” is standing a foot and a half apart, and if someone gets closer we are uncomfortable. Part of this may be because we have larger houses and the ability to distance. In other countries more densely populated like India and China, with large families living in a small space this is not possible.

However, I think in modern times we have discovered how important touch really is. Technology just does not take the place of human contact. We are beginning to change this with practices such as Reiki, massage therapy and other types of therapy that have been used in the Far East for many years.

If I am talking to someone who is grieving, often there are no words if they miss a loved one or have had a recent diagnosis of a fatal illness. I will ask if I can hug them and that sense of another person holding them is often more effective than any words can say. Doctors, nurses and health care workers will tell you that just holding a patients hand when they are very ill is the best healing they can do. My oncologist was the one who told me I needed to do an article on hugging. PreCOVID we would always hug because she is a healer.

Now with this terrible pandemic, health care workers are covered with PPE equipment. One dare not touch with a warm and gentle hand. And worse of all we cannot hug our family and friends. When I asked my doctor if it was all right to have my sister come and stay, she asked if we were going to hug and advised us not to do that.

Our pastor says jokingly, but means it that it is a good thing we are online because if we would meet in person we would end up hugging each other. Virtual and air hugs is not enough for us!

Honestly, when COVID is conquered and there is a vaccine, I will never again take hugging for granted. I will hug my family, my friends and my church family so hard I may never let go!

Jesus knew this. He used touch constantly in healing from touching people with leprosy to the eyes of a blind man who was able to see. “After the people of that place (Gennesaret) recognized him, they sent word throughout the region and brought all who were sick to him, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.” Matthew 35; 36 (NRSV).

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