The Coronavirus has everybody in a tizzy. But even with an outbreak, life must continue, albeit, lived in a more mindful manner. The virus is transmitted through droplets and contact transmission, the latter having a higher risk of transmission of the two. In short, always wash your goddamn hands with soap (YES, EVEN AFTER YOU PEE, YOU IDIOT).
But are you a social stick-in-the-mud, who needs to ensure the proper formalities are carried out? Do you feel weird if you did not proffer a salutation or a farewell when you meet with people? Is not shaking the hands in the midst of a viral outbreak bumming you out?
In a post that absolutely no one asked for, we present alternate greetings other than the staid handshake. Not only will these gestures keep you safe from contact transmission*, it is also guaranteed to be respectful in its exchange**.
A step informal than your handshake, the elbow bump is a cool way of conveying 'hey, I acknowledge your presence while making sure that my hands remain germs-free as they run all over my face."
Fun fact: the popularity of this method of greeting spiked during the 2006 bird flu outbreak; 2009 swine flu outbreak; 2014 Ebola outbreak. Like how fashion trends are cyclical, we're bringing the elbow bump back for this Coronavirus outbreak, beh-bey!
First seen in a Seinfeld episode ("What is the deal with this dated references?"), close talkers are seen as an intrusion of one's personal space. But that was then. In this day of social media and TMIs, personal space is obsolete.
Close talking tells the other party, "Bro, I'm scared of the Wuhan virus but I'm making a concerted effort to be close to you so that you don't feel awkward about it." You're keeping it intimate without risk of contamination.
Of course, we know that the virus is airborne, so don't be an idiot person, and wear that face mask on when you close talk with people.
If weird about the proximity, take a cue from these strong confident men.
Look at these bad boys keeping a respectful distance as they maintain eye contact. This is acceptable.
This is not acceptable.
Don't worry, if you get it wrong the first time. As long as you have your face mask on, you'll be fine. If you fail, try, try again.
What's the dirtiest thing in the world aside from the toilet or your browsing history? That's right, the ground… the filthy, filthy ground. It's a good thing our shoes act as a barrier between us and Satan's floor.
Since the bottom of your shoes are already contaminated, why not use that to your advantage? Note: stretching is recommended.
If you want to be really safe, there's always the option to suit up. Dress up in your Sunday best with a 3M Disposable Coverall or if you wanna paint the town red tonight, treat yourself, go for the Kleenguard A60 Bloodborne Pathogen and Chemical Protective Coverall Suit. It protects against bloodborne pathogens and chemicals and even with its three-layer fabric, it allows vapour (read: sweat) to escape while it is impervious to liquid splash.
Once properly suited up, you can do any of the following on the list and even shake hands.
Hear me out. Poo already come out of your butt, so it's already dirty by default. So, why not bump behinds as a conciliatory hello or good-bye. Look at these loveable scamps—Adam Scott and Paul Rudd—making the butt bump a whimsical greeting.
(This image may or may not be a promotional header that I've Photoshopped to included in my slash fiction starring Adam Scott and Paul Rudd as brothers conjoined at the butts. And they solve crimes. And also, juggle their respective love lives.)
Who says that you need to make physical contact to greet someone. You can acknowledge the other party with a knowing nod. It's mysterious and it gives you that veneer of cool. Just like my father, who has never said a word, both cruel or kind, to me throughout my formative years. How cryptic! I'm sure this reluctance in communication has little to do with me making terrible decisions like, I dunno, accruing a gambling habit or thinking a post about alternate greetings would fly.