Cuddling sheep to fight coronavirus-induced loneliness

By Maria Alonso Martos

Berlin, Mar 21 (efe-epa).- A farm in Germany is offering people who are feeling lonely and starved of contact due to the coronavirus lockdown to hug sheep and geese.

Farmer Lexa Voss, who runs the farm, tells Efe that many people open up to her about how they are going through a hard time, that they miss being around people because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

“Letting them come, cuddle and pamper the sheep can help,” says Voss from her farm, located in Hattingen, western Germany.

She says the sheep are very calm, they spend the day grazing in the field and love to have people around.

Coming into contact with the animals in that natural environment “away from the information bombardment, masks and restraints” somehow heals the visitors, who must schedule an appointment by calling or sending an email beforehand, Voss says.

“When people arrive they say that they feel suffocated. But as soon as they see animals approach them for pets, as soon as they begin to come into contact with them, they relax,” says the farmer.

The farm deeply transforms some of the visitors, she adds.

“Some people experience here for the first time what it is like to be with an animal up close, they recognize its personality and that makes them change the stereotypes they had about animals,” she says.

Voss points out the lockdown and virus restrictions that began in March 2020 prohibited them from doing all the income-generating activities.

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