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Collected Item: “Out of Touch”

Give your story a title.

Out of Touch

What sort of object is this: text story, photograph, video, audio interview, screenshot, drawing, meme, etc.?


Tell us a story; share your experience. Describe what the object or story you've uploaded says about the pandemic, and/or why what you've submitted is important to you.

When I spent the Thanksgiving 2019 holiday with my family at my grandparent’s house, I had no idea that my hug goodbye would be the last hug I could share with my grandmother for a very long while. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC pushed multiple changes to prevent the spread of the virus which included social distancing. Both my grandparents are at high risk with underlying health conditions, so possible exposure to the virus was not an option for them. For us, social distancing also meant family distancing. Thankfully, I was able to have regular meetings with them on their front porch. We kept one of the front doors closed to separate us, and we talked from a safe distance. It was not the same as what I was used to and I missed the closeness that we once had, but they were moments to cherish as I did not know when I would get to hug them again. Sadly, I was not the only individual forced to find new ways to stay in touch with family members. All over the internet, heartbreaking pictures and videos surfaced showing families separated by hospital windows, mothers giving birth without family in the delivery room to support them and hold their new baby, and people ‘touching’ their loved one’s hands through glass barriers. These moments showed how the coronavirus left many families out of touch.

Once the virus started to slow down and vaccines became accessible, I was finally able to spend more time with my grandparents without the physical barrier. Lots of people are talking about a ‘new normal’ now that cities are reopening and people are getting to go back to their lives. For me, getting to hug my grandmother again was a sign that everything would be okay, and life finally felt normal.

Use one-word hashtags (separated by commas) to describe your story. For example: Where did it originate? How does this object make you feel? How does this object relate to the pandemic?

#arizonastateuniversity, #HST643, #sensoryhistory, #family, #pandemic

Who originally created this object? (If you created this object, such as photo, then your name goes here.)

Mekenna Miller

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