To “Shake Hands” or Not to “Shake Hands,” That Is the Question
Do you still shake hands with other people?
A tradition that has been around for at least hundreds of years has been dramatically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is believed that the practice of shaking hands began as proof that you weren’t carrying a weapon and didn’t mean someone harm … rather, that you had come in peace and friendship.
Dr. Anthony Fauci proclaimed as the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, cautioned last year, “I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you.”
Others strongly disagree with this.
Dr. Amesh Adalja is an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University. He thinks the whole shaking controversy is overblown. The solution, he says, is simple: “If you are worried about COVID, the best way to make handshakes safe is to be fully vaccinated. For other things that might be on people’s hands, wash your hands before you touch your face. That is what hand sanitizer is for.”
Which way will you ultimately go?
Personally and professionally, I have continued to shake hands. I’ve always had service/sales positions and have close contact with listeners, clients, dignitaries, etc.
The custom of warmly and professionally greeting someone is very important to me … and for our culture and society as a whole.
Yet, I am mindful that many are not comfortable with this. Maybe they never will be again.
My recommendation is to carefully study your surroundings. If you pay attention, you can see what someone prefers:
- Shake hands.
- A fist bump.
- An elbow bump.
- A non-touching gesture.
Which will you do?
To “shake hands” or not to “shake hands,” that is the question.
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