The handshake is canceled — and it’s likely not a simple phase. As a gesture, the handshake was long used to demonstrate trust and honesty, a hallmark that could help land a job or a sale, and was a mark of a person’s character. Historically, it’s believed that the handshake may have originated in ancient Greece as a way to verify the other party wasn’t holding a weapon (via CNBC). Unfortunately, now the handshake is a potential weapon in and of itself as a potential source for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Instead of a traditional handshake, people are now finding creative ways to greet friends and colleagues as a substitute. Peace signs are a lovely way to greet friends in the U.S., but do be aware that two fingers in England is similar to one middle finger in the states (via BBC). Others are trying honorifics inspired by other countries and cultures, such as a bow, a salute, or the salutation from India that has been popularized by yoga — namaste. A hand over the heart is a new favorite to show caring and respect. AOL shares some more humourous options with us including the curtsy, the thumbs up, Spock’s greeting from Star Trek, and jazz hands.
Elbow bumps are definitely out
Elbow bumps were hip in the first half of March, but the second half of March is taking things far more seriously, as getting close enough to elbow bump definitely puts you too close to another person to safely practice social distancing. Also gone is the fist bump due to the same rule, although this is still considered 90 percent better than a handshake as shared on CNBC.
People around the world are changing habits, exchanging touch-based greetings like hugs, kisses, and head bumps for distance salutations (via NPR). Many communities have already implemented measures to shelter in place and follow guidelines limiting personal interactions to a 6-foot distance and gatherings of fewer than 10 people. NPR elaborates on the situation as reporter Richard Harris notes, “The virus is spreading faster than our knowledge of it.”
The best new greetings are from far away. A wave or nod will do if you’re passing neighbors on your daily walk. You can also try sending video greetings to friends and loved ones. Video greetings are a great way to creatively stay engaged with others at a distance. Find some inspiration with these great ideas inspired by birthdays, but create your own occasion — even happy Wednesday (via Animoto Blog).
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