Over the past year, we've made a lot of adjustments: We learned how to make and wear face masks, adapted to working from home, and practiced social distancing. But the biggest change we made was isolating ourselves from friends and family members we were used to seeing and hugging regularly.
After 15 long months of waving from the window and visiting outdoors while wearing masks, it's finally safe to be together again. The new CDC guidelines state that fully vaccinated adults can gather without masks and resume normal activities (except when required by local laws). And since more than 49% of U.S. adults have had at least one dose, we're slowly getting back to life as usual. While I'm looking forward to backyard barbecues and outdoor dinner parties again, the first thing I did after receiving my vaccination was hug my grandma.
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So while the pandemic is far from over, we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel—which means there will be a lot of post-vaccination hugs coming over the next few months. (One woman's doctor even wrote her a prescription to hug her grandchildren!)
To celebrate these joyful moments, we asked our readers to share who they most want to hug once they're fully vaccinated, and the answers are beyond heartwarming. From grandparents to public school teachers and everyone in between, we got dozens of responses. Because each one was sweeter than the last, we rounded up a few of our favorites to share.
“My grandparents. I haven’t seen them in over a year.” — Valeria G.
“My mom, but I was able to last week!” — Johanna F.
“My Nana! We haven’t hugged since I had my son in February 2020.” — Kelly O.
“My BFF. This is the longest we’ve been apart since 2001.” — Rachel W.
“My dad. He’s in a nursing home and visiting is very restricted.” — Leigh B.
“My children’s public school teachers. They’re super heroes.” — Erin M.
“My grandma. Just welcomed her first great grandbaby and I can’t wait for a group hug.” — Betsy B.
“My mom. Because she’s my mom.” — Shannon O.
“My coworkers. We’ve been through this pandemic together day after day. I miss not hugging them.” — Rhonda C.
“My mentor Cathy. I haven’t seen her in over a year, and she has always loved me so well. I want to hug her!” — Priscilla M.
“My friends! The physical intimacies of female friendship have been so missed!” — Malkah N.
“My clients! As a realtor, one of the happiest days is closing day! Missing those hugs!” — Sara C.