When can I hug my mom again?

"I made life choices to be close to my parents, and now they're being held at arms length"
"I made life choices to be close to my parents, and now they're being held at arms length"

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has impacted us all, across the globe. From job losses to weighing up the risk of infection, we've all had to adjust.

One of the more difficult aspects of the virus is the way it separates us. This father of two wrote to say how, of all the things he misses the most, it's a hug from his mom.

Also read: Family in lockdown: Parent24 has you covered

I haven't hugged my mom or dad in over 70 days, the longest period of time that I haven't seen them in 7 years.

It feels like I'm living overseas again, living on a little island with no contact with my oldest friends and family. I eventually came home to be closer to my aging parents, after my father had his 70th birthday and I couldn't be there.

I don't fear for myself getting the virus, but I fear greatly for my parents, they're into their twilight years and have various comorbidities which could complicate matters if they had to get sick.

So I've kept my distance even when my folks didn't want to.

I've been steadfast when they would have compromised over the last few months, but it's slowly getting to me more and more.

I made life choices to be close to my parents, and now they're being held at arms length, but I am an adult, and I can deal with the blows life throws my way.

But I have two young children too, who love their grandparents dearly and have not seen or felt their love in person for a substantial period of their lives now.

They used to look forward to every Wednesday when their grandmother would bring ravioli over to our house, and they would jump with joy to share their 'pasta pockets' with their beloved grandmother, followed by cosy story time on the couch. 

From the perspective of the law, and what I know, we will have to maintain physical distancing until the pandemic is over, but with the way the laws have changed up until now, maybe some potential changes are coming before the end of the year.

My favourite idea is from some countries overseas, which have implemented the idea of a family 'bubble'. In this era of Covid-19, a bubble refers to the group of people with whom you have close physical contact.

As a family we are isolating exactly like we are meant to, and as we are taking all the precautions we can, and my parents are taking all the precautions they can, if at all possible we would choose to overlap and spend time together - only with them and no one else. 

This will be our bubble, with my parents and siblings, and we won't socialise with anyone else. We're hoping it may become an option during one of the lockdown levels. 

My parents are keen for this and are considering it too, but my fear of being responsible for making them sick is holding me back. We don't know how much longer we will have to be apart, but the longer it goes on the more risks it feels like we are willing to take.

As much as my own kids would love this to be over too, they still have both their parents at the moment which is a consolation. 

But for me, I really cannot wait to give my mom and dad a big hug, and hold onto them until it feels uncomfortable for all of us.

- Anthony, father of two

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