A few months ago, Nick van der Kolk, the host of the podcast Love + Radio, tweeted: "If I were @annasale, I'd be asking my listeners how they're coping with a lack of physical touch in their lives."
So we did! And our inbox was flooded with responses—mostly, as we expected, from people living by themselves, or, at least, without any other adult humans. "Every point of contact with another human is a little electric charge...little human exchange from person to person that really does fuel you," a listener named Billy, who lives alone, told us. "And then when it's all taken away so suddenly you realize that, oh my gosh, that is, that was necessary. That was needed. That let me know that I wasn't alone on this earth."
In this first of two episodes, we hear from several listeners who've been deprived of touch during difficult moments during the past few months: new parenthood; racial trauma; the loss of a partner. "I have a feeling, the first person who I do hug, they're going to have a mess on their hands," a listener named Angie told us, whose partner recently died. "I can mostly talk without crying now...but I'm wondering if I'm going to go through that all again, once I actually am able to physically touch people, am I going to relive that whole experience?"
Thanks to the team at Love + Radio for their work on this collaboration.