Many Americans have gone months without a hug

Jamie BallardData Journalist
August 12, 2020, 6:00 PM UTC

Though many of us are used to greeting friends and family with a hug, the COVID-19 pandemic may have changed that.  

An August 2020 YouGov poll finds that for 31 percent of Americans, it’s been more than four months since they hugged someone outside of their household.  

About one in five (21%) say they’ve hugged someone outside of their household within the last week, while 8 percent say it’s been one to two weeks. Another seven percent say it’s been one to two months since their last hug, and 8 percent say they last hugged someone three to four months ago.  

Americans who are over 55 years old (36%) are especially likely to say it’s been more than four months since their last hug with someone outside of their household.  

Some people have taken a creative approach to hugging during the pandemic. The Solstice Senior Living Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, brought in “hugging booths,” which are essentially a sheet of plastic with holes and specialty sleeves that allow people to hug their loved ones while maintaining a protective barrier.  

“I can’t describe it,” resident Judi Barraba told KXAN, an NBC affliate station in Texas. “It has been so long. Usually we are a huggy, huggy family. So not being able to do it for five or six months, it has been hard.” 

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Related: Amid COVID-19, Millennials are (still) the loneliest generation 

Methodology: The survey is based on the interviews of 4,386 US adults aged 18 and over. Interviews were conducted online August 5 – 6, 2020 and results are weighted to be nationally representative.   

Image: Getty