Los Angeles Times
April 15, 2021
COVID-19 gave us 'skin hunger' and 'touch deprivation.' We’re fighting back with hugs
As more Americans are vaccinated against COVID-19, reunions among loved ones are becoming increasingly frequent and, for many, hugging is the main event. Most humans crave physical touch from friends and family and feel they need it to maintain their close relationships, experts say. Hugs are a way of saying hello, offering support, asking for love, sharing joy and communicating emotions that may not be neatly translated into words. "There's a lot more going on than, 'Let me just put my arms around you for a second or two,'" said Kory Floyd, a University of Arizona professor who studies how affection is communicated in close relationships. "In times like this, that message can be, 'I really missed you.'"