France has discouraged cheek-kissing, and Germany has suspended shaking hands. In the midst of the current pandemic, touching is a no-no, at least when it comes to people other than your (healthy) kin. In the age of social distancing, we need to learn new ways to say hello. The World Health Organization recommends staying three feet away from someone who is sick or potentially contagious, while the CDC stresses keeping a six-foot distance.
Even if you, the virus can spread through from coughing, kissing, spitting, even heavy breathing that propels vaporized moisture into the air. All you have to do is breathe it in or get it on something and rub your mouth, eyes or nose to complete the transfer.
Expanding your personal space bubble doesn't just protect you, it also helps keep others from getting ill with the COVID-19 disease. While globally the fatality rate is 3.4%, according to the WHO and Worldometer, those who are 60 or older have a higher fatality rate that extends to 21.9%. (Note that these numbers are based on testing of extreme cases and the numbers are constantly changing).
Fortunately, there are other unique ways to greet someone that don't require physical contact. Many cultures already greet without touching, as with a bow or nod of the head, but now's a good time to widely adopt these ideas. We share some of our favorite hands-free greetings, including, and also tell you which popular methods to avoid.
Do you have another greeting idea? Share it in the comments below.
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Top touch-free greetings
- Embrace 🖖
- Flash a peace sign✌
- Place your hand over your heart like WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 💚
- Nod or flick your head in acknowledgment ('sup)
- A slight bow will show your respect
- Turn on your 1,000-watt smile 😄💡
- Channel your inner toddler and blow kisses (without the spittle) 😘
- Give air high fives like you used to do in school (from 3 feet away of course) 🙌
- Air hugs can still be comforting (same as above)
- Be calm and namaste on 🙏
- Bring out the finger guns and a wink 🤠😉
- Devise a secret greeting dance with your friends 🕺🏾
- Use sign language to say hello (or create your own hand language) 👋
How not to greet
Remember that the recommendation is to stay between three and six feet away from others to reduce your risk of spreading or contracting the virus. Here's what you don't want to do.
- Elbow bump: Remember that people are advised to cough and sneeze into their elbows
- Hip bump: Your personal bubble has burst!
- Toe tap: Unless your legs are super long, we suggest leaving this one out
- Cheers with your glass: Celebrating is nice, but you don't want to risk getting someone's saliva on your glass, or vice versa
As the world adjusts to the new reality of, we have more measures to help keep you protected. Here's how to avoid coronavirus with these , and .
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.