What I Miss and Hope For


Photo courtesy Pixabay

Kathryn Cambrea, Editor in chief

Masks envelope the faces of passerby. A loved one is not recognized; a stranger’s beautiful countenance is never discovered. Smiles are seen in the crinkles of one’s eyes and heard through muffled laughter. But the touch of a hug isn’t there.

I long for hugs.

A professor of mine last semester used the phrase, “virtual hugs.” I remember smiling at that phrase. But a “virtual hug” could never replace a true hug. Physical closeness. An unmasked face.

But the concept of “virtual hugs” is incredibly important. The need for communication is paramount, especially now.

I miss my friends so much. I am incredibly grateful for the technology that I have which enables me to communicate with them. I am grateful for our conversations which last hours, trying to grab one thread of normalcy, or the lives we led before the pandemic infiltrated our world.

I was finally able to see friends in-person over the summer, but I was beyond excited to finally experience social interaction without a screen. The first friends I saw are sisters, and they visited in my backyard. We sat an appropriate distance apart and wore masks. I almost felt emotional because my immediate reaction when I see people who I care about is to hug them. But I couldn’t even do that.

An “air hug” would have to suffice.

I had just seen those same friends among several others from my high school and town in January over the semester break. God knows that I would have truly appreciated each hug I had then if I knew it would be the last ones for a while.

Nonetheless, I am thankful for the time that I have had and continue to have with my friends during the pandemic, even though it takes place over the phone or in socially distant circumstances.

Why? I miss people. I miss the unique energy each person has the potential to emit. And I hope to experience that again soon.

I do not know how long COVID-19 will be here for. I also do not know how long masks will be here for. But I hope that doctors and nurses are alright. I hope they realize the tremendous impact that they have had and continue to have and that they are loved.

I hope that people who believe that the virus is a hoax truly evaluate the news, statistics, and data. I ask them how they could have held anti-mask protests and demanded to have a massage or haircut when an abundance of people, internationally and locally, are dead. I hope they realize how lucky they are to have not experienced any losses.

And to the people who have experienced losses of family and friends, God bless your loved ones and I hope you know that they will always be remembered, and although your character is one of strength, it is okay to be vulnerable: please seek help if you need it. The pandemic is universal; it may affect us all differently, but I guarantee that someone will always listen.

I hope that this all ends soon, which is easy to write and request but not actually come true. I have to believe that this is where faith comes in. I hope that we can see each other’s faces without masks and finally embrace. But I know that hope won’t become reality for a while.

So, until then?

I hope I can sit six feet apart from you and know that you are smiling. Whether it’s virtual or in the air, I hope you feel my hug.