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Michelle Obama misses hugging (and so do we)

— by Alyson Walsh

Photo: Netflix

Just as Lockdown Fatigue kicks in – who knew staying at home could be so exhausting? – Michelle Obama is here to lift the mood. From May 6, the former first lady will be streamed into our living rooms in a new Netflix documentary. Directed by Nadia Hallgren, the film follows Obama on the book tour for her best-selling memoir Becoming. Brilliant news for those of us who couldn’t get a ticket (balked at the price). In a note accompanying the Netflix announcement, Michelle Obama spoke of ‘treasuring the memories’ of touring in 2018-19 and connecting with people around the world, ‘now more than ever as we struggle together to weather this pandemic.’ But it’s the 56-year-old’s comments on hugging that help put lockdown into perspective:

‘As many of you know, I’m a hugger. My whole life, I’ve seen it as the most natural and equalising gesture one human can make toward another — the easiest way of saying, “I’m here for you.” And this is one of the toughest parts of our new reality: Things that once felt simple — going to see a friend, sitting with someone who is hurting, embracing someone new — are now not simple at all.’

‘But I’m here for you. And I know you are here for one another…. Even as many of us are living with grief, loneliness, and fear, we need to stay open and able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Empathy is our lifeline here. It’s what will get us to the other side. Let’s use it to redirect our attention toward what matters most, reconsider our priorities, and find ways to better remake the world in the image of our hopes.’

 

Very much looking forward to the day I can hug my family and friends, again.

In the meantime, my lockdown viewing includes: Sally Rooney’s Normal People on BBC One (better than the book), Ozark series three on Netflix (Laura Linney and Julie Garner are superb), I’ve just finished the Scandi drama Twin on BBC4 (with Game of Thrones actor Kristofer Hivju) and started series two of Ricky Gervais’ After Life (Netflix). What’s on your TV list?

 

Ways to keep mind and body active during quarantine HERE and Armchair Culture: gallery-going from your own front room HERE.

Michelle Obama quote via Variety.

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Just as Lockdown Fatigue kicks in – who knew staying at home could be so exhausting? – Michelle Obama is here to lift the mood.