The Marinaro family of Rockford, Illinois, created a unique and safe way to show their love for their great-grandmother, Rose Gagmon, while still practicing social distancing. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gagmon has not been able to hug her family members in months. Thus, the family created a handmade "hugging device" so her great-grandchildren could safely embrace her, according to NBC affiliate WREX.
Carly Marinaro is Gagmon's granddaughter. She wanted a way for her own children to be able to hug their "nana" without putting anyone's health at risk. She decided to get creative with a window insulation kit, duct tape, PVC pipes, and livestock gloves to create the contraption.
For the hugs, Gagmon stands on one side of the plastic and puts her arms through the cut-out holes and into the plastic gloves. The children can approach from the opposite side and embrace her through the plastic. There is no skin-to-skin contact and the divider prevents the spread of airborne germs.
To ensure the device looked friendly and approachable to her children, Marinaro covered the plastic with colorful cut-out hearts. Red sticky notes spell out the message "Hug Time" at the top. She later shared photos of the device and a video of her children hugging Gagmon on Facebook.
In the video, three little children can be heard screaming excitedly once they finally spot their great-grandmother after months apart. They then form a line to give her a hug. Gagmon smiled from ear to ear during the long-awaited reunion.
"Who wants seconds?" she can be heard asking, as the kids race back to her.
The heartwarming video later went viral online, with many people being able to relate to the joy of reuniting with older family members.
"A must watch for a little joy. Nana has been longing to hug her babies! This makes my heart so happy. Feel free to share if you like," Marinaro wrote in the post.
People loved the idea so much that they began commenting and asking Marinaro for tips about how to build their own hugging device. She was more than happy to share the materials she used and the process.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the separation from loved ones during quarantine has been extremely hard on many. Nevertheless, people have found creative ways to still connect with the people they love. An emotional photo that went viral in March showed a father holding his newborn son up to a window so that his own father could meet his new grandson.