You can now officially hug your family in Ontario and people are sharing the special moment
The provincial government announced last week that Ontarians can now form social circles of up to 10 people, meaning many can finally reunite when their loved ones from closer than two metres away.
"Ontarians should think of their circles as the people they can touch, hug and come into close contact as we continue our shared fight against COVID-19," said Health Minister Christine Elliott in a government release about the public health recommendation.
As a result of this advice, many Ontario residents have taken to social media to share photos of the special moments and family reunions that have taken place across the province over the past few days.
Heartwarming photos of adults hugging their elderly parents, for instance, have appeared all over Instagram and Twitter.
Television host Tracy Moore even posted an adorable picture of her family reunion.
"Breaking news: WE CAN HUG. In Ontario the social bubble has been expanded to ten people and that meant an immediate visit to squeeze the living crap outta these two," she wrote in the image caption.
"Nothing can replace the smell of your childhood home and the folks who brought you into this world 💕. Sidebar: You can't see my eyes because I'm THAT happy. #HugsAreLife"
Countless photos have also been shared of grandparents hugging and kissing their grandchildren for the first time in months.
@BTtoronto @DinaPugliese had the sweetest reunion with my grandchildren and my daughter. They came to visit me and I swear my grandson who is 14 grew another foot! I was on my tippy toes. Most beautiful hugs ever! pic.twitter.com/fXxHdTGCA2— Bonnie Lee (@stitchlady) June 15, 2020
Toronto city councillor Mike Layton also posted a touching photo of his daughter reuniting with her grandmother.
Today Nonna got her first huge from granddaughter Phoebe in 3 months. Such a beautiful moment. Made even more special because it was my moms 70th birthday! pic.twitter.com/ZQwTKHOc01— Mike Layton (@m_layton) June 13, 2020
And considering elderly people have been some of the most isolated throughout the pandemic due to being high risk, the photos of much-needed reunion hugs are just that much more meaningful.
Operation Bubble -- Grandparent Level Unlocked! First hug in 90 days. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/0i2etB9zT0— Andrea is #Bubbling (@MommyGearest) June 13, 2020
Many Ontarians have also posted photos of the food they chose to share with loved ones for the first time, because we all know there's no better way to spend time together than by sharing a plate of something delicious.
First time hosting friends in months now that social circles are legal. Feasted on harissa-spices, smoked chicken; coleslaw; Korean-style short ribs; confit Brussel sprouts and slow- roasted Tomatoes. But the best part? Hugs and kisses! #covidthings pic.twitter.com/67tznfftyv— Mark Singh (@marksinghTO) June 13, 2020
And some also posted about their wholehearted appreciation for a home-cooked meal.
Yes! Got to hug Penny Perry for the first time in three months... and see her culinary work in real time...thanks for your ongoing care for others, Mum. pic.twitter.com/tBO16nZptC— Martha Perry (@MPerrySCS) June 13, 2020
Of all the social circle photos shared by Ontario residents in recent days, those portraying special family moments between loved ones who've been waiting out the storm before getting too close are arguably the most impactful.
@BTtoronto @DinaPugliese @rogerfpetersen Over three months and only communication on messenger I finally got to see and cautiously hug my family this weekend. Best ever hug and kiss with my beautiful granddaughter. I was strong until I got to my residence and then cried and cried pic.twitter.com/EpZSbCTtHn— 🇨🇦Irene Koncius🇨🇦 (@IreneK24) June 15, 2020
But while social circles (aka family reunions) are now technically allowed in Ontario, be sure to keep your circle at or below 10 people and continue practicing hand washing and physical distancing with all those outside your bubble.
Because if there's anything better than hugging a friend or family member you've been missing, it's making absolutely sure you're doing everything you can to keep them safe, healthy and protected.
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