A Canadian woman has come up with an ingenious way to safely hug her mother, even during the coronavirus pandemic: the "hug glove", a plastic tarp with four sleeves hanging from a clothesline.
In the southern Ontario city of Guelph, Carolyn Ellis and her husband Andrew developed the so-called "hug glove" on the eve of Mother's Day, which this year was celebrated on May 10 in North America.
"It occurred to me that she wasn't getting the hugs, and we really needed to do something about that," Ms Ellis told AFP.
"I want to give it for Mother's Day."
They taped plastic sleeves to a large tarp, allowing two people to hug each other without making direct contact.
"It was very much a time effort, trying to figure out the size and the height of the holes," Ms Ellis said.
"It was a great gift."
A video they recorded of the moment they embraced was shared on social media and quickly went viral. But Ms Ellis said she was surprised by how fast it took off.
"I just wanted to hug my mum," she said.
"We were quite shocked on how quickly it went viral, but thrilled that other people are benefiting from our hug. We loved it."
And while a plastic-covered hug will never be as good as the real thing, it was still comforting – after weeks of lockdowns and other social distancing measures – to be able to hold her mother again.
"This allows it to kind of get back to normal. It really gives us a sense of hope that it's not going to be forever," Ms Ellis said.
"That physical feeling feels like home, you know, a hug from your mum – it feels so good."
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