Hugging is one of the most universally comforting forms of endearment, and its absence in recent months as a result of pandemic-induced physical distancing has taken a toll on many people’s wellbeing.
In an effort to make human affection somewhat more tangible, a care home in the south of Brazil has created a ‘hug tunnel’ that allows residents to embrace their loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.
The idea came to the staff of the Geriatric Clinic Tres Figueiras facility last month, shortly after Mother’s Day. “We noticed that our senior residents were feeling sad,” owner Luciana Brito told CNN. “We thought they would be much happier if we found a way for them to hug their relatives.”
The tunnel is made of a large plastic sheet with four armholes and covers one of the facility’s entrances. To further ensure the protection of residents, all visitors have their temperatures checked and apply hand sanitizer before using the tunnel, while the area is disinfected every 30 minutes. Visitors are also scheduled ahead of time to avoid crowding.