As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention – and the coronavirus pandemic is no exception.
Humans have a canny habit of being at their most ingenious during times of crisis, and what we all wouldn’t give for a solution that allowed us to safely meet our vulnerable loved ones again.
Antony Cauvin, 29, from Stratford-upon-Avon, who works as a plasterer, created a ‘cuddle’ curtain with arms so he could hug his grandmother who he had missed giving a cuddle after spending months apart due to the pandemic.
The ‘Cuddle Curtain’ created by Cauvin uses a see-through shower curtain fitted with long safety sleeves on either side so that two people can stand opposite one another and embrace without any skin-to-skin or breath contact.
Cauvin said he tested the curtain with his wife Miriam before taking it to his grandparents’ house and fixing it in their garden. ‘We giggled about it but thought, “this could actually work”,’ he told Sky News.
His wife Miriam filmed the adorable moment he and grandma Lily finally hugged again – with their video now shared on Facebook more than 162,000 times with millions of views.
The footage captures Lily’s delight when she hugged her grandson for the first time in months with no fear of spreading germs.
Cauvin says the sleeves and the curtain itself are disinfected after each hug so that someone else can use it.
Cauvin has now left it in his grandparents’ garden so that their seven other grandchildren and three great-grandchildren can come along for their own cuddles.
Antony Cauvin said to Sky News. ‘But we were also giggling that much, just because it seemed such a far-fetched and bonkers idea. We never touched any part of Grannan at all – I’m a believer in social distancing and don’t want to put anyone at risk.’ He told Sky News he hopes his invention won’t be a long-term fixture, adding: ‘Hopefully if we find a vaccine for this horrible disease, it won’t have to last.’