“Humans naturally suffer from what is called skin hunger,” said Gautier Jardon, who conducted the IFOP survey, finding that the proportion of people who still kissed strangers had decreased much more than for foreigners. family members, friends and colleagues. .
To greet each other with a kiss is to integrate personal space, says Ms. Boutin, the psychoanalyst. “With the ban on physical contact, it is as if we have completely wiped out what we are, as if we no longer exist,” she said. “We need human contact, if only to stay alive. “
Epidemics have already ceased to embrace customs. In the mid-1300s, Europe was hit by the “black plague”, a scourge that killed 25 to 30 million people, or nearly a third of its population.
At the time, the kiss was not a form of systematic greeting, according to Alain Montandon, philosopher, in his book “The Kiss”. But it had significant socio-political importance.
“It had the value of a contract or a pact,” said Montandon.
With summer approaching this year and the abandonment of mask mandates, some have grown worried about the lack of the kiss – including, reportedly, Mr Macron himself, who has kissed two World War II veterans on the cheeks in June at a memorial ceremony. (Mr. Macron wore a mask.)
But Pauline Gardet, 24, hopes Covid will end the era of kisses – and its many unwanted kisses -.
“Usually two days ago a guy came very close to me, leaving me with no choice but to kiss him,” she said. “I found it very rude – the coronavirus is still there. “