Here we are in the middle of an epidemic. Or is it a pandemic? Whatever it is, people have stopped shaking hands. And I’m okay with that. In fact, I’ve been feeling wary of handshakes for years.

When I was a little kid we were taught to cover our mouths when we sneeze or cough. With our hands. The same hands that will be shaking someone else’s hand. And even though they changed the rules years ago, people still sneeze and cough into their hands. Now they say to do it into your arm or a tissue. Old habits die hard and there are countless baby boomers sneezing into their hands day in and day out. Thanks but no thanks. A simple “hello how are you” will do just fine.

And your hands don’t just touch a doorknob. Your hands touch every hand that has touched that doorknob, toilet flusher, grocery cart, etc. And during the best of times, very few people are walking around sanitizing every single time they touch something. It’s not just a matter of knowing where that hand has been, it’s a matter of where every hand that touched something that that hand touched has been. 

Sounds confusing, but it’s simple. It’s time to replace the handshake. Fist bump? Elbow bump? Or just a nod and a smile. Anything but the dreaded handshake. Now I’m going to wash my hands because this keyboard has got to be full of germs.

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