COVID-19 blues
People hugging trees in Israel. Courtesy: The Indian Express

COVID-19: Israelis Hug Trees To Beat Lockdown Blues

July 14, 2020

COVID-19 has thrown life out of gear and we are gradually entering an era of "new normal" where everything normal previously is a passe.

Hugging or embracing someone we love tightly now looks like a thing of an ancient past.

However, this forced distance from our loved and dear ones have made many gloomy and they are gradually getting pushed towards "depression".

It is said that a hug acts as a natural stress reliever.

o what to do when you can't hug someone? Well, hug a tree instead.


Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority (NPA)is spreading this message on social media with the aim to help people overcome the sense of detachment that COVID-19 social-distancing has brought.

"In this unpleasant corona period we recommend to people around the world to go out to nature, take a deep breath, hug a tree, express your love and get love," reported The Indian Express quoting Orit Steinfeld, NPA's marketing director in Apollonia National Park.

The Apollonia National Park is about 15 km (nine miles) north of Tel Aviv and people are seen in numbers visiting the park to "hug a tree".

Tree-huggers at the park say that the most basic human need is for connection, for touching, for hugging, which now is now avoided by the people as a health precaution.

People visiting the park further said hugging a tree made them feel better and is also a nice thing to do during this COVID-19 pandemic situation.

It may be mentioned here that Israel has experienced a sudden spike in coronavirus cases after the COVID-19 curve flattened in May.

Everyone has to wear protective masks while stepping out and the Israelis are advised to avoid close physical contact with elderly relatives, with visits at nursing homes held only in the open air.

It may be mentioned here that the tree-hugging campaign launched by Israel follows a similar endeavour launched by Iceland’s forestry service in April.


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