"Touching" Technology

Anand Parthasarathy


Image credit: Pete Linforth/Pixabay


As we approach the macabre first anniversary of the COVID pandemic-induced national lockdown this month, one restriction, among the many the world endured, emerges as heart wrenching and poignant: the inability to touch. Social distancing made things like a simple hug or handshake dangerous, bringing the contactless folded hands in a namaste back as a safe substitute.

The frustration of not being able to embrace loved ones and if infected, to be isolated from all contact, proved traumatic for many. So, health care professionals came up with the ‘hug bubble’ — a solution that allowed patients and relatives to “hold hands” even while encased in sleeves of hermetically sealed plastic film in an inflatable tunnel. A Reuters report of this solution crafted by a hospital in France went viral and encouraged similar solutions around the world...read more