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How expensive is a smile?

Physical distancing is a thing now.  Which feels weird because I am so used to being a touch type person.  I know there are others out there that have a the same level of ‘skin hunger’, too.  For those that are not so touchy-feely, they may be reveling in this quarantine time.  I am curious if that is true.  I’d be open to feedback from both sides of this concept.  I’ve long been someone who appreciates safe touch.  If that is a handshake, a hug, or even a pat on the back.  I never did get into the slap on the butt in a sports team, but hey, whatever floats your boat.  What is that really about though?  For me it is another layer of connection with another human being, confidence from a strong handshake, consoling of an embrace, comfort from a hand on the shoulder.

So what is possible now in the time of physical distancing and masks for those that go outside into public?  I’d heard on a program on NPR about masks disarming people of one of the tools they use to ease tension in a situation, their smile. Being 6’5” and a big guy, I never thought about this specifically, and how it can give a sense of “I come in peace”.  I’ve just never used a smile intentionally like that, it comes naturally to me.


Once the masks come off, I feel we will have a deeper appreciation for a smile, and be far more aware of the ways people smile with more than their lips.  I still smile when I wear my mask, as it is part of who I am, and I hope you can see that in my eyes.  So many of the little things these days that we took for granted now have a different meaning.  People are saying ‘hello’ when passing on the road far more often, wave as they pass in their vehicle, and most are really conscious of other 

people’s space.


I look forward to the day when the smile is more visible, our masks are off, and we can again understand what people are saying far more clearly.  Step-by-step, things will get to a new normal.  In the meantime, I’ll appreciate the time on Zoom, phone calls, and the eyes of people as they smile.

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