“Physical touch makes you healthier. Hugs, massages, holding hands reduce stress while boosting your immune system.”
But what do you do when the very actions that can help boost your immunity can cause someone else harm? What do you do when you can no longer touch?!
Like many around the world, I also contracted the deadly virus and was thus alienated within my own home — Not denying it for even a fraction of a second that I am in a far better state than a number of people in my country, if not the world.
But, I had suddenly been pulled away from everyone in my family and locked up in a separate room.
My fever doesn’t usually show up on the thermometer, but that definitely wasn’t the case now with the tool reading 100.1 degrees Fahrenheit.
I was first isolated in my room, with my puppy being my only company. But even that changed come Monday morning. I was exiled to the faraway land, also known as my brother’s room, for the days to come. And this time, my pup couldn’t come along.
It wasn’t too terrible being on my own. But when you’re feeling shitty and can barely move a muscle, getting up to go to the door and grabbing your food becomes the most strenuous of the tasks.
Not having anyone to hug and comfort you makes the whole experience even worse. But it was a necessary precaution.
I live in a joint family, and all of our priority was to ensure that no one else got infected - especially with my two ageing grandparents in the house.
One thing that absolutely blew my mind was how I lost my sense of smell. It is almost fascinating how smoothly one can lose the ability and functioning of one of their most vital senses and not even notice it gone unless put to the test.
I spent most of my days working, watching videos, reading, and talking with my boyfriend all day (a blessing in disguise with our long-distance relationship). I would often sit on the floor with the room’s door open to talk to my family — who have all now made masks a part of their daily ensemble — and still feel like a part of the same household.
I have always been a very affectionate person. I rely a lot on physical touches, especially with my loved ones. It energises me and makes me feel loved and safe. But I couldn’t do that anymore.
I couldn’t go hug my mum whenever I felt low. I couldn’t smother my brother in kisses as he tried to push me away. I couldn’t pet my puppy as he lounged about in the house. I couldn’t energise myself anymore.
But it was okay, with the knowledge that my family was safe and healthy, even if not within my reach.
With all the cases being reported in the country, I was grateful to at least be in the comfort of my home, surrounded by my family. I missed them terribly, but they were right there, supporting me from the other side of the door — and I couldn’t have asked for more.
It was tough, not going to lie or sugarcoat it. Still, it was bearable because of my amazing friends and family who kept in touch — maybe not physically, but emotionally through their words and support.
That is what helped me keep my head above the water and not drown myself in all the negativity around.
I believe that in today’s time everyone needs a little pick-me-up every now and then. So touch the people around you — with your words and actions. You never know who might be in need of an energy boost at that moment.
“Nothing is so healing as the human touch” — Bobby Fischer
I believe that to be true — physical or not, the human touch is magic!