How to greet each other during a pandemic
Remember when you just shook hands? Indeed that seems like an eternity ago. Where did the time go anyway? March 2020, we went into lockdown for the first time and handshaking became a big no-go. The question everyone asked themselves from then on: how do I greet someone during a pandemic? Here are 5 fun alternatives to the classic handshake.
1. Time to bump those elbows
People soon came up with the idea of giving each other an elbow instead of a handshake. By now this has become the new normal. But since corona we also cough and sneeze into our elbows. A bit weird and unhygienic to greet each other with that same elbow then, isn’t it?
Did you know that; the elbow greeting is not new at all but has been around since 2006. During the swine flu outbreak, the World Health Organization suggested this way of greeting.
2. Stick out your tongue
May sound strange. But in Tibet, people have been greeting each other this way for centuries. This greeting obviously needs an appropriate introduction, not everywhere will the greeting be socially accepted. However, it is a funny and unusual way to greet each other. Greet each other in a tibetan way!
Why not use your feet? For this internationally popular ‘footshake’ there is no Dutch translation so far. The greeting was nicknamed ‘Wuhanshake’. Because a video surfaced of the Tanzanian president doing the ‘food shake’ with an opposition leader. This video went viral in the Chinese city, Wuhan.
The greeting is not at all unhygienic and also fun to do. You can simply tap each other with the inside of your foot. But you can also get creative and come up with a whole choreography. This makes the greeting informal and fun. Let’s dance!
What is your favorite song? Use the chorus of this to greet someone, this makes it amusing and personal. Let loose, this time you get to sing loud and false. Sing out the coronafrustrations.
5. Hand gestures to the rescue
Don’t like to sing or dance? No problem, come up with a cool hand gesture. A wink accompanied by an index finger or the rock ‘n roll hand gesture accompanied by an appropriate headbang. The alternatives are endless, the only limit is your imagination!
With these 5 tips you can in any case avoid some uncomfortable situations. Most of us have an ingrained habit of shaking hands. This habit is not easy to change. You have to remind people, especially in places where we shake hands a lot, that this is no longer possible. You can just say this but you can also do it in a playful way. For example, you can put a sign at the entrance that says, ‘From here on, we wave to each other’.
If we all know what to do and are convinced of this, the situation is no longer uncomfortable. We have to start seeing new gestures as normal. Especially leading figures in companies, influencers or politicians are going to play a big role in this. They will set a good example so that the new gestures become socially accepted. By reminding everyone of this in a light-hearted and amusing way, those uncomfortable situations will soon be a thing of the past.