Being together and sharing joy is a basic human need. That’s why images on this topic are so important in royalty-free stock photography. Motifs of harmonious togetherness are ideal for arousing positive emotions in the viewer. During the difficult coronavirus period, we discovered a whole new form of closeness, connection, and togetherness, which – as absurd as it may sound – is expressed specifically in spatial distance.

royalty-free images of touch

© William Perugini/Westend61

But one year after the outbreak of the pandemic, with all its restrictions on contact, many of us are painfully more aware than ever of how important touches, hugs, and human closeness are.

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Unhappy Birthday – the pandemic turns 1

On March 11, 2020, the galloping spread of Covid-19 was officially declared a pandemic. At that time, people were still talking about a “novel” virus. Since then, however, we have unfortunately become much more familiar with this topic than we would like. The associated terms, problems, and rules have become an integral part of our everyday lives. So we would definitely like to give the first “birthday” of the Covid pandemic a miss. Frustration levels, especially in big cities, are rising, and we’re all asking ourselves, “When is it all going to stop!”

royalty-free images of touch

© Sergio Victor Vega/Addictive Stock/Westend61

No doubt, this “birthday party” will be really lousy. It’s clear that most people want to finally visit restaurants and bars again, celebrate and indulge in their usual lifestyle. But many people miss more than that. They suffer, above all, from the lack of physical contact with other people; they miss closeness and touch. They simply want to have someone hold them again or hold someone else in their arms. We’ve discovered how important physical contact with loved ones is, particularly now when it’s missing. After all, we are all, so to speak, participants in an involuntary long-term study on “social distancing.” The longer-term consequences of this forced distancing for our coexistence and social behavior cannot yet be foreseen.

royalty-free images of touch

© Gemma Ferrando/Westend61

Well-being through hugs

Touch plays an existential role for us – in child development, in social behavior, for our health, and generally in “grasping” the world. It has long been scientifically proven that hugs release happiness hormones in us. A biologist would explain it quite unromantically as follows: Our skin receives an exterior impulse, which it transmits to the brain via thousands of receptors all over the body. 

royalty-free images of touch

© Kniel Synnatzschke/Westend61

The information about the type of touch is processed there, and then neurotransmitters are released. Loving touch from a familiar person increases our sense of well-being. Even very fleeting touches have an influence on our brain activity in this way. One could also say, quite unscientifically, that cuddling (or even a light pat) makes us happy.

royalty-free images of touch

© Julian Rupp/Westend61

A “cuddly” series of images

Of course, it is still important to observe the social distancing rules to contain the spread of Covid-19. This still applies after the start of the vaccination campaign. So we don’t want to give you any “wrong ideas” when we show you a special Lightbox on “Human Touch” today. Just understand this “cuddly” series of images is meant to appeal to and encourage you to not forget, even in the “New Normal,” what we really need to be happy: closeness, community, and touch – and best of all, to be skin to skin.