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The nurse, her eyes above the mask both understanding and sympathetic, reached out a gloved hand and squeezed my shoulder in passing. That was it. It was all it took. The floodgates opened and for the next half an hour, I was a wreck. It is one of the more insidious effects of COVID that physical contact… including such small but much-needed gestures of kindness and comfort… are now as rare are rocking-horse eggs.
When my late partner was in hospital with cancer, how many times had a nurse’s arm crept around his or my shoulders or stopped us from hitting the floor? Or when Nick was attacked and left in the coma, and friends were standing vigil by his bedside, how many… including the police officer on guard… had to be held while they came to terms with what was happening? It is, I believe, a common need to…
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