National Hugging Day, observed on January 21 every year in the US and in the UK, encourages people to demonstrate their love towards their friends and family with a hug. The day was created by Kevan Zeborney in 1986. But it has been disrupted this year by COVID-19.
In recent months, some hospitals and care homes have installed COVID-19 safe "hugging stations" to give people some form of contact. Millions of us have been living with severe restrictions and orders to stay socially distanced and that causes complications for today's annual hugging day celebrations.
Sarvenez Seppheri is a Clinical Psychologist who says touching releases a hormone in our brain that makes us feel connected with others:
“We are in a rather unique situation right now, and extended periods of not being able to touch causes, what we call ‘touch starvation’.”
Watch Euronews's full report in the player above.