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Reaching Out: The Power Of Touch In A Socially Distant Time

Parishioners take wave hello to each other as a sign of peace, instead of the customary shaking hands, outside the Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla New Mexico, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Parishioners take wave hello to each other as a sign of peace, instead of the customary shaking hands, outside the Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla New Mexico, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For many people, social distancing means not being able to touch the people around them. 

Whether it’s a hug from a friend, a kiss from a partner or a handshake from a stranger, many of the ways we’re used to physically connectinghave disappeared.  

But humans are sentient and social creatures. There are  health consequences associated with a lack of touch. 

 Touch neuroscientist Victoria Abraira  told  The Daily Beast

“This pandemic shows why touch should be studied in the same rigorous way as the other senses…we need more scientists to study it, even if this is a nightmare experiment to have to go through. What I hope will come out of it is a sense of appreciation for touch, and the recognition that in studying it as a sense we can tap into the regions of the brain and how the brain rewires itself to be healthier and better socialized within humanity.” 

We talk about what happens to our brains when we go long periods of time without being touched and what we can do to compensate for the lack of physical contact. 

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