Ross, who lives in Truro, Cornwall, “could probably count on one hand” the number of hugs he was had since March last year.
He lives alone and is on the government’s list of highly vulnerable people to coronavirus due to his progressive muscle-wasting condition, spinal muscular atrophy (Type 2).
“It’s not been great,” Ross, a lifestyle and disability blogger, tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.
“I never really knew how needy I was before this. I wouldn’t have put myself down as a huggy person, but you miss that sort of human contact.”
Three carers help Ross daily, but he has to keep his distance from them as much as possible, hugging strictly off-limits.
The risk of transmission is lower outside than in, but that doesn’t mean hugging is back on the agenda.
If someone has coronavirus – may be without realising it because they have no symptoms – they’ll be releasing the virus as they breathe, especially if they cough.
Some of that will be carried in droplets, most of which will quickly fall to the ground but could reach your eyes, nose or mouth if you’re within 2m (6ft) of them.
So everyone’s still being encouraged to keep their distance from one another – and to avoid hugging.
There’s a scientific reason behind why Ross – and the rest of us – crave cuddles so much, explains Sophie Scott, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London.
“Physical touch, in general, is critical to humans as it’s relaxing – you get a reduction in stress from being touched by someone, but it can’t be from just anyone – it has to be a meaningful thing,” she says.
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