COVID19 and the demise of the Bro-Hug


As we head into the heart of autumn, COVID19 warnings become more and more confusing. On the one hand vaccination numbers are up, not enough yet, but up. Yet some jurisdictions are reporting rises in the number of daily cases. Of course, there is a strong correlation in that the vast majority of these cases are folks who are not adequately vaccinated.

The return to gathering, dining, dancing, drinking, are all now on the table (bar?) depending on where one lives. To travel or not is another issue. Trying to come to a decision can result in great anxiety. When we were in full-fledged pandemic mode, there was no wavering. No anxiety about should I or shouldn’t I. It was black and white, open and closed – well, closed for the most part.

Now that we have switched our focus to the possibility of a return to something that resembles our pre-pandemic world, less emphasis, at least in the mainstream media, is placed on how the coronavirus originated. When we were all confined to barracks, with way too much time on our hands, many people concocted their own target for ‘blame’. This was never going to end well and spurred no end of xenophobic comments.

But I do have a theory that if it was an intentional act, whoever it was, did so in an attempt to rid the world of the dreaded bro-hug!!

I am certainly no epidemiologist, I have no idea where COVID19 started. Moreover, I couldn’t begin to state who may have unleashed it on the world, nor whether it was done intentionally. But I do have a theory that if it was an intentional act, whoever it was, did so in an attempt to rid the world of the dreaded bro-hug!!

With physical distancing, elbow bumps, fist bumps, waves, and any other non-contact greetings were the order of the day. The engulfing bro-hug, which often starts with the hugger luring the huggee with an offer to shake hands, was no longer a threat. If you have not fallen prey to this stunt let me explain. Once the handshake grip has been offered and established, the hugger hauls the unsuspecting huggee into a full-body clasp. The free hands flail about as one person grasps and the other tries to maintain balance. This seems to be a generational thing. Two thirty-somethings, or younger, know it’s coming and will often skip the handshake and cut straight to the hug.

There is also a gender angle to bro-hugging, as the name implies, it is the sole bastion of males. Seemingly women long ago perfected the hug, I write of the male ham-handed attempt to replicate this greeting.

If you are not au courant with these things, if you are just a wee bit older, the bro-hug can come as an unpleasant surprise, leaving you feeling a bit like a deer caught in the headlights. I’m not referring to a pair of drunks back-slapping, hugging, and expressing their true love for each other, usually in the late hours. I mean a whole cohort of young men who seem to have lost the art of the handshake.

I’m not referring to a pair of drunks back-slapping, hugging, and expressing their true love for each other, usually in the late hours

I believe that post-pandemic, whenever that arrives, will see many changes. Many people will continue to wear masks. In public, respect for personal space may well return. Much business travel will be scrapped in favour of telemeetings. And, the demise of the bro-hug!!

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