Bad Girl, Good Business

My COVIDiary Installment 2: The New Intimacy

Reading Time: 2 minutes

(Don’t) Touch Me Babe

Alas, that’s the new mantra in this weird and remote pandemic world. Handshakes, hugs, and kisses are all off-limits for the time being.

As a single digital nomad entrepreneur, the lack of human face-to-face connection can be lonely and disconcerting at times. Full-time freelancers don’t have communities to Zoom with every morning, so keeping connections alive becomes even more important.

This morning, I sent out my monthly newsletter and was thrilled that many friends and colleagues reached out to schedule calls and Zoom meetings. I set a goal for myself to have at least three phone calls a day and one online group activity each week. That sure beats talking to the DoorDash guy, and will have more long-term benefit.

  • A whopping 28 percent of households are single-person. Although WFH, home-schooling, and the inability to go to your office, gym, and favorite restaurant may be driving you crazy, be kind to those people who don’t have an in-home tribe. Loneliness can kill, according to the New Yorker.
  • The online dating apps have responded with creative ways to keep people connected, with some singles reporting that the quality of their interactions has actually improved.
  • Forbes even published guidelines for sex during the pandemic, along with masturbation tips. I kid you not.
  • The elbow bump has its own Wikipedia page. It apparently originated in the 1960s and was used by lepers.
  • Human touch has tremendous psychological and physical benefits, according to science. It can even boost one’s immune system.

As soon as this all blows over, lots of us are going to need many hugs and kisses. In the interim, you should:

  1. Make time to talk to colleagues and loved ones as often as you can — especially via video. When you’re on camera, remember to smile. It not only cheers the person/people you’re talking to, but it will also boost your own mood.
  2. Organize and participate. Many professionals have set up their own online groups to foster connection and after-hours virtual parties and book clubs have become a thing. Of course, the term “quarantini” already has its own hashtag and recipes abound. Instagram just launched a co-watching feature.
  3. Connect and communicate with new people on LinkedIn and Facebook and show people you’re engaged by liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts.
  4. Become your own lover. Self-care is super-important right now. At-home workouts abound, and these tips can be helpful in establishing some sense of normalcy. Learning a new skill or volunteering (with gloves and a mask on, of course) can boost your mood.

In the interim, turn up the volume and enjoy this oldie but goodie and feel free to comment with your own fave intimacy tunes.




  1. Humans are such social animals. We need our interactions.
    This is a difficult time for so many of us!
    I’m just learning Zoom so I can start teaching again next week. For someone as electronically challenged as myself, it is truly painful.
    Great solutions here, Nancy!

  2. Gil Genn

    Hello Nancy Shenker! I can’t insert the picture of the autographed copy of the original ‘Surrealistic Pillow’ Album I bought in 1967 (my first on my own), but the title of the Jefferson Album is timely, and Grace Slick belting out “Don’t You Want Somebody To Love” is certainly ‘in tune’ with your post. Now I have to check out the Forbes article you referenced to see what I’m doing wrong and how I can improve my performance! LOL!

  3. I can’t wait to hug my friends. And go to AA (joking but I am drinking a lot more wine as I do Zoom happy hours).

  4. Jeffrey Raff

    Hey Nancy,
    I’m a first time visitor to your blog and I’m enjoying the dialogue. As a single guy enduring the isolation of the current quarantine it’s nice to know everyone is thinking about the same things.


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