Smiles Are the New Hugs in the World of Social Distancing


Thanks to COVID-19, life as we know it has changed. Social distancing is going to be the norm for who knows how long. Blowing kisses is not just for babies anymore. Your smile is more important than ever as it substitutes for the touch of hugs and handshakes.

Although this new reality can seem very disorienting as we are told to self-quarantine and isolate ourselves and our families, some things will not change. Touching may be discouraged now; however, we still have the desire to express our love, pleasure, respect, and appreciation for others. We now distance ourselves from people we know, as well as those we do not know. Now we must discover new ways to convey warm feelings toward one another, and our smiles have gone up in worth.

Smiles: The Virtual Warm Fuzzy

Last month a smile often accompanied a warm hug, a pat on the back, or a friendly handshake, which were automatic for the circumstances. Today those gestures are put aside, but a smile shines without hesitation. Thank goodness for smiles – and laughter. The “warm fuzzies” we have so readily offered up to friends and family, and sometimes even strangers must now be conveyed in ways that are not physical. But that’s okay. Your smile lights up your face, shines through your eyes, and rings in your voice. Those smiles and the sound of laughter take on special meaning during this time.

The Light in the Tunnel

Every day, the news of the novel coronavirus changes something. Yet, there are still many things that do not need to change. True, the times are full of uncertainty. For some, even a handshake could put an elderly loved one at risk. Still, we all need to guard against becoming overly serious about the circumstances. Sooner or later, and this is not said glibly, this, too, shall pass.

Look for the Joy in Your Life

Seek out those things which bring joy into your life. It may be watching comedy shows or cat videos. It may be spending time with your children and listening to their laughter. Before the technology boom, families found creative ways of entertaining each other. Making things together, sharing hobbies, listening to the grandparents tell about the “good old days,” playing games, and spending time together. Many of us have lost touch with those simple things in life, and yet, those things can now bring light into what otherwise seems like a dark and lonely time.

Virtual Smiles Connect Us

We can reach out to one another through various virtual platforms such as Zoom, Facetime, and Google Hangouts. When we “see” one another, we can share smiles across the miles or down the street. Now is the time to let others know you care even as social distancing becomes the norm. If you are in a position to help someone or extend kindness or offer friendship and assistance, especially to those who may be having a hard time on their own, now is the time.

Note: When Washington, DC went into “lockdown,” we closed our offices for regular dental care. As a health care provider, however, we are able to provide emergency dental care to some patients. We will continue to monitor the latest advisories on the virus and take additional measures, as needed. Everyone’s health and safety come first.

Remember to share your beautiful smile!
Dr. Nishan Halim

Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in a comprehensive approach to dental care in his Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. When treatment plans include specialty work, he coordinates every step with the practitioners you choose from his referral network. Contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment.

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