Working around social-distancing with silly costumes


UniGranny cover
Images adapted from: Storyful Rights Management and Inside Edition

With social-distancing measures still in place, you can’t help but miss physical contact from people around you.

A grandmother put on her inflatable unicorn costume and surprised her grandchildren, after over 2 months of not seeing them.


An oddly touching reunion


UniGranny hug
4-year-old Lincoln and 7-year-old Rylan hug their grandmother.
Source: Storyful Rights Management

Maureen Sweeney, a grandmother in New Jersey, could not visit her grandchildren due to lockdown measures. Frustratingly, she lived only a few blocks away from them.

After 70 days, she donned an inflatable unicorn costume she bought online and came lumbering over to their house. The two boys came running to her for a hug once they realized who the unicorn was.


She wanted to hug her grandchildren safely


UniGranny Maureen
Images adapted from: Inside Edition

Sweeney told Inside Edition that she needed a way to give her grandchildren hugs without risking their wellbeing. Wearing an inflatable costume does prevent direct skin contact when hugging someone. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said it’s as effective as a cloth mask.

Inflatable costume prices went up during the pandemic, reported Inside Edition. It seems people feel safer from wearing one no matter how silly they look.


People found ways to hug safely


UniGranny hug time wall
Image credit: CBS News

A great-grandmother in Illinois, Rose Gagnon, also went for months without hugging her loved ones. It was her granddaughter who made a plastic wall with plastic arms that allowed her to embrace them again.

UniGranny hug suit
Source: KABC-TV / Dariann Kobe

In California, a grandparent couple showed up in “hug suits” made from plastic trash bags and snorkels.


Whatever it takes for family


It’s hard to go on for months without physical contact with your loved ones, especially when you live close to each other.

Improvised costumes cannot replace protective gear, even if sterilised. Therefore, you should still wear proper gear to protect yourself.


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