Hugging a tree in Israel to beat the coronavirus blues

APOLLONIA NATIONAL PARK, Israel (Reuters) – Can't you hug friends and family these days? Instead hug a tree.

People are participating in a campaign by the Israeli Nature and Park Authority, asking Israelis to take sightseeing tours and solace in the tree hug amid an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Apollonia National Park near Herzliya , Israel, on July 7th. 2020. Photo from July 7, 2020. REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun

This is the message that the Israeli Nature and Park Authority is spreading on social media to help people overcome the feeling of distance that the rules of social distance from corona viruses can bring.

"In this uncomfortable corona time, we recommend people around the world to go into nature, take a deep breath, hug a tree, express their love and get love," said Orit Steinfeld, marketing director of the agency, in Apollonia National Park .

In the park, about 15 km north of Tel Aviv, tree keepers like Barbara Grant followed the advice on a tour arranged by the authority.

"The most basic human need is for connection, touch, hug," she said, complaining that she couldn't hug her grandchildren for health reasons.

Also in the park, Moshe Hazan said he wanted to extend his hug beyond his partner Pat Arthur, who accompanied him into the forest.

"We don't hug too many people these days – not our children, not our grandchildren – and hugging a tree is a nice thing," said Hazan.

After a flattening of a coronavirus infection curve in May, Israel has seen an increase in new cases in recent weeks.

Protective masks are mandatory outdoors, and Israelis are advised to avoid close physical contact with older relatives, as visits to nursing homes are only outdoors.

Israel's tree hugging campaign follows a similar plan launched by the Icelandic Forestry Service in April.

Reporting by Eli Berlzon; Written by Jeffrey Heller

(tagsToTranslate) UK (t) HEALTH (t) CORONAVIRUS (t) ISRAEL (t) TREES (t) Infectious Diseases (t) Israel (t) Health / Medicine (t) Europe (t) Middle East (t) Life / Lifestyle ( t) Iceland (t) retirement / age

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