I am getting Fauchi Ouchie #2 in just a few days, and I haven’t been this excited about a shot since my 21st birthday. While we are not out of the woods yet, knowing that I will soon be able to have actual physical contact with other fully vaccinated people has me walking around like a Disney princess in love.
While I would love to create a Sign-Up Genius of five-minute slots to hug every single one of my friends, that’s probably not the most responsible plan of action. Nor is my other idea of one great big giant Hug Party, breaking the Guinness World Record for Biggest Group Hug.
Alas, we have to walk before we can run, so here are a few gentle reminders as we begin to navigate this gradual return to…dare I say…Normalcy.
1. While fully vaccinated people are allowed to gather indoors and unmasked, it is still recommended to keep the group small. The CDC recommends keeping the gathering to fully vaccinated people from ONE other household at a time. So keep the Hug Parties small for now. I promise it will still be awesome.
2. The CDC suggests that you should still avoid large gatherings. If you absolutely must attend a larger event, masks and social distancing are still the name of the game! Remember that the new variants are still being studied, and while you may be protected, there may be other people who are more susceptible to infection.
3. Fully vaccinated people are cleared to travel! I could pee with excitement! But make sure to stay masked up en route!
4. We’ve spent over a year in what is essentially solitary confinement, so we may have forgotten how to physically interact with other humans. According to specialists who have nothing to do with viral overload, here is how to give a perfect hug:
- Don’t just wrap your arms around the hugee. Give a squeeze. This actually sends a signal to our nervous systems that we are safe. And who doesn’t need that signal right now?
- To receive the biggest bang for your buck and get that vital dose of oxytocin, you should hold the embrace for at least 20 seconds. According to Forbes magazine, there was even a study showing that the oxytocin from hugs helps prevent infection from severe illness!
- Finally, remember to brush your teeth. We have been wearing masks for a year and unable to get a whiff of anyone (or anything, really). People will be able to smell you now. And don’t forget to floss.