Lakeway woman draws picture to cheer up her downstairs neighbors & send them a ‘socially distanced hug’


A woman sent her neighbors in Lakeway a “socially distance hug” through a drawing over the balcony. (Carl Delisi)

LAKEWAY, Texas (KXAN) — While embracing is discouraged right now to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a woman still found a way to send her friends a comforting message via a “socially distanced hug.”

Carl Delisi sent a picture Wednesday morning to KXAN of a drawing that he and his life partner, Gloria Quaglino, unexpectedly found lowered onto their balcony by a string. The dangling illustration showed a smiling girl holding a sign that read “sending you a socially distanced hug.”

“We were just touched,” Delisi said about the moment he saw the drawing after he awoke Wednesday.

Delisi lives at Tuscan Village in Lakeway, where he said “everyone’s been holing up” because of the novel coronavirus since the condominium complex houses people who are 55 and older.

Colleen Lankwarden, the upstairs neighbor, told KXAN that she decided to draw the picture for them and lower it from her balcony because she wanted to “try to be lighthearted” about the social isolation they’re all practicing right now.

“I like to joke around a lot,” Lankwarden said, laughing.

She said she got the idea for the illustration after a friend of hers in Canada sent a similar note to her recently.

“Everyone deserves a hug whether you’re hugging or not,” Lankwarden said.

She plans to leave similar messages to other residents so that they also feel encouraged at a time when people are trying to keep their distances from each other. She also hopes others will follow her example and do the same wherever they live.

Delisi said most of the amenities at the complex are now closed out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19. However, he said everyone is healthy. He and Quaglino are even going on walks outside, but he said they’re maintaining the suggested social distance of six feet.

He noted that he and his friends can still talk to each other even though they’re separating themselves like that.

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