Someone in Canada came up with the most ingenious way to hug his parents
A man in Montreal just came up with the most ingenious way to hug his parents, and he's calling it a "hugging station."
Alex Montagano told Global News that he hadn't hugged his parents since they left to spend the winter in Mexico eight months ago, before the pandemic broke out.
He wanted to give them a hug when they returned, but he didn't want to put them at risk of infection.
His brilliant solution? A hugging station.
The creative contraption is made of a wooden frame with a plastic sheet over it, as well as two plastic sleeves with heavy-duty gloves attached with silicone.
Montagno said that first hug with his parents felt "fantastic."
"I hadn't had that contact with my parents and I think it was good for them," he said. "My mom said she was going to cry."
And Montagno isn't alone; almost half of Canadians say that they're most looking forward to a hug post-pandemic, even more than dining out at restaurants or watching a sports game.
It seems that the desire to hug your loved ones transcends even international boundaries; a man in England similarly built a "cuddle curtain" to give his grandmother a hug this week.
The lack of physical contact has been one of the hardest parts of the pandemic for Canadians and people across the world — and there's a good reason for it.
Professor Robin Dunbar, evolutionary psychologist at the University of Oxford, says that touch is "really fundamental" for humans.
"The sort of more intimate touching - arm round the shoulder, a pat on the arm and these kind of things reserved for closer friendships and family members - are really important," he told the BBC.
"It's remarkable of how much touching we do without really being I think aware of it."
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