Scorch was in a great mood today. She had received a letter from her human penfriend. Along with the letter, her friend had also sent the cutest stickers to Scorch.

Scorch couldn’t stop smiling. She said, “I  wish I could go and hug Carla! She’s so nice!”

Verum said, “No, Scorch, please don’t! It’s not yet safe to hug humans. You see, the pandemic has not yet ended.”

“You’re right, Verum,” said Scorch with a sigh, “I’m glad we at least have each other to hug. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be for poor humans. They haven’t hugged or even met their families living far away.”

“That’s true,” said Verum, “Do you know what happened in Australia on 5th September?”

“No, please tell me,” replied Scorch.

“The first Sunday of September is celebrated as Father’s Day in Australia,” said Verum, “But if you remember, the number of Covid cases is rising in various states, including New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria. That’s why the state of Queensland closed its borders to neighboring NSW in July because of rising cases in Sydney.”

“Okay, what happened then?” said Scorch.

“But this separated many families,” said Verum, “People who were working in Queensland couldn’t return to their homes in NSW. They all missed each other so much! That’s why on Father’s Day, these families gathered in the bordering suburb of Coolangatta on Sunday. Fathers, who hadn’t seen their children in months, hugged them warmly.”

“Aww,” said Scorch.

 “People brought balloons, food, drinks, and even picnic chairs! They were teary-eyed as they caught up with their families. It was a heartwarming scene. One father, Bradley Church, had only seen his baby daughter through video call! He got to meet her for the first time.”

 “I’m going to get teary-eyed now,” said Scorch.

“The police at the border reminded people to wear their masks,” said Verum, “After all, the pandemic isn’t over. And Australia will open its society only when 70% of the population over 16 years of age is vaccinated. Until then, people have to bear the distance a little longer.”