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A sudden run in an inflatable hippopotamus ballerina costume may represent the desperation American families are experiencing to get close to loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.
An example of how the costume helped a family member get around social distancing restrictions was seen last week at the Fox Trails Senior Living Home in Stephens City, Virginia.
“My mother-in-law hugging my grandmother in an inflatable hippo suit wearing a tutu is the content you needed today. Her nursing home is letting family members hug each other in these sterilized suits,” tweeted Nick Bolerjack.
My mother-in-law hugging my grandmother in an inflatable hippo suit wearing a tutu is the content you needed today. Her nursing home is letting family members hug each other in these sterilized suits ❤️ pic.twitter.com/UokmU6lNtw
— Nick Bolerjack (@NickyBoler) May 13, 2020
As her daughter approaches her wearing the hippo tutu, the elderly woman is heard exclaiming, “This is wonderful!”
The women then share an emphatic hug.
Bolerjack’s daughter shared a couple of up close shots of the touching moment on social media, tagging “The Ellen Show.”
— Ana Bolerjack (@OnaaaB) May 13, 2020
The staff at the nursing home reportedly came up with the idea to use sterilized hippo costumed to allow family members to hug residents.
According to TMZ, online costume retailer HalloweenCostume.com sold around 75 of the hippo ballerina costumes in 2019, but have sold 450 so far this year.
Nursing homes have been hard hit by COVID-19, with many being completely locked down, allowing no visitors. There have been countless stories of elderly people dying in isolation, as there family is not allowed to be at their side.
There have been other creative efforts to allow for hugs, with a “hug shield,” or “hug curtain,” being one of the more popular ideas.
Introducing the ‘Hug Curtain’. 10-year-old Paige from Riverside, California created a hug curtain as a way to embrace her family members during physical distancing.
Video via: Lindsay Okray on Facebook pic.twitter.com/yJQWsR24TR
— Breakfast Television Toronto (@BTtoronto) May 13, 2020
Is it got to be one of the most heartwarming videos I have seen since the start of the coronavirus someone making a barrier shield with arms just so they can give someone else a hug lovely💗💗💗💗 pic.twitter.com/MGuHDCYNdz
— Mark 🍊🇬🇧🏴🏴🇪🇺🌈NHS (@markeverett1977) May 17, 2020
— HUGlove (@loveHUGglove) May 19, 2020
— All News Inc. (@allnewsinc) May 22, 2020
Here’s a sampling of responses to the inflatable hippo costume idea from Twitter:
I love this…. bringing a little tear. How amazing is this nursing home to get creative! Thanks for sharing.
— Bellastef (@bellastef) May 13, 2020
Love this! Thanks for sharing ❤️
— Crystal Noyes (@crystalnoyes) May 13, 2020
I love how the breeze blows up the tutu, absolutely priceless! ❤️❤️
— Jeremy Roberts (@Judge_Smales99) May 13, 2020
Right in the feelz.
— Josh Barney (@Sprtakuz) May 14, 2020
easily the best thing i’ve seen all day
— rachel wood (@__rachwoody) May 15, 2020
I only want be hugged my someone in a hippo suit from now on. https://t.co/nvdt8BbWh1
— Stephanie Taylor (@973stephanie) May 21, 2020
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