Reflections and Takeaways Special Edition | Page 52

One of the weirdest experiences for me has been how, as we got used to physical distancing, I found myself becoming really uncomfortable when I'd see groups of people together on TV or in a film. Even old shows would have me reacting like this, even though I knew they'd been recorded well before the pandemic. "What are you doing?!" I would find myself exclaiming when I saw a group of people sat close to each other on a sofa. Or an aeroplane with every seat filled and not a single one wearing a mask!

And now, over one year in, I watch a show in which people hug when they greet each other, and it has such a powerful sense of "wrongness" about it. And they stand so close to each other!

I think when this is over, one of the greatest pleasures is going to be shaking people's hands in greeting. This act has always been about communicating trust, and it will have a new significance. And I miss hugging - it's not something I grew up doing particularly, but as I've travelled the world and picked up behaviours from various cultures, hugging, and physical contact, are things I have learned to value and I really miss.

David Miles