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At Last - Alternatives to Shaking Hands

The handshake has a long history, going back thousands of years. Now is the perfect moment in time to avoid shaking hands and consider alternatives. Pick the one that you like the best and stick with it. It will become second nature after a few repetitions.

There are suggestions ALL over the internet and on TV. Thanks to CNN Travel for these next few ideas.

Namaste: a Hindu greeting that means "The Divine within me bows to the same Divine within you." Bow slightly, palms pressed together toward your chest with your fingers pointing upward.

American Sign Language: bring your hand to your forehead like a salute, then flick your wrist away from your head like a wave.

Shaka aka Hang Loose: curl your three middle fingers, extend your thumb and pinky, and shake your hand back and forth, knuckles facing out.

If you never liked shaking hands, this is your moment. Covid-19 is a good reason to find an alternative and nobody will think twice or complain that you didn't shake hands. Oh yeah, and you will be doing yourself and the world (the entire world) a favor by social distancing. Earth is going to be different now, at least for a while. Try to jump in with your greeting before a hand shaker gets his hand in front of you. And if they beat you to the punch, smile and use your preferred greeting.

You may observe people that like to fist bump and pull their fist away at the last moment (not that friendly, is it?) or foot bump (still too close and can be awkward) or use the Vulcan "Live Long and Prosper" hand gesture (only for Star Trek fans?)

Stand back and bow. At six feet apart, it should be very comfortable. Not a deep bow, just a bow or even a head bow. Maybe that's a nod, but if you are recognizing and greeting the other person, it's simple and respectful.

The Peace Sign gesture. If you don't choose to use it, others may so recognize it to be their greeting!

It's easy to keep it simple. You can just say "hello" and smile.



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