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A spy informs me that one firm is already telling its employees to avoid shaking hands as a way to lower the risks of swine flu. I can see this sort of policy catching on. My informant wonders what sort of greeting should replace the handshake. I'm on it.

There are few times in history when you have a chance to create a new and lasting custom. I say we put our collective minds together and come up with a business greeting that involves no skin-to-skin contact and no exchange of bodily fluids.  I will open the bidding by suggesting the forearm bump. I already use this method jokingly with my friend who has germ issues. It's like crossing swords except you cross your sleeved forearm. The cooties don't have time to penetrate two layers of sleeves. Or so he thinks.

This new swine flu greeting still needs something extra, such as both people saying, "Huzaaa!" when their forearms touch.

An alternate move would involve making a fist and holding it up to your snout sideways, as if you are forming a pig's snout, snorting then finishing with a fist bump. That's still hand-on-hand contact, but at least it's the clean side.

Who has a better idea for a handshake replacement?
 
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Sep 15, 2009
The virus survives on hard surfaces like table tops, plastic surfaces and other areas where direct sunlight or high temperature is not seen for 72 hours. This is a long time for another person to be infected from this.
MORE INFORMATION:
http://www.manipalcureandcare.com/preventive/Flu-Influenza.aspx
 
 
Aug 26, 2009
http://northwardho.blogspot.com/2009/08/scott-adams-of-dilbert-fame-wonders.html
 
 
Aug 26, 2009
Scott, about the shoulder-shake, i changed the name to shoulder-touch. Google it. Hat tip to Professor Solomon in Maryland who first broached this subject with his book about UFOs, in which he described a similar human to alien shoulder touch greeting. I thought to myself: <strong>THIS MIGHT BE AN IMPORTANT WAY FOR HUMANS TO GREET EACH OTHER IN THIS AGE OF PANDEMIC SWINE FLU OUTBREAKS!</strong>
From Professor Solomon's book: <strong>"Can I Smoke Aboard a Flying Saucer?" </strong>(pdf)

<strong>"He raised his right arm and I thought he was going to shake hands. But he laid his open palm down on my left shoulder, which was evidently their form of greeting or salutation."</strong>
 
 
Aug 26, 2009
Scott
In all seriousness, i say let's go for the shouldershake: looks like this:

http://northwardho.blogspot.com/2009/08/as-swine-flu-spreads-globally.html
 
 
Aug 26, 2009
As Swine Flu Spreads Globally, Handshakes Are Out and Namaste, Japanese-style greetings and *Shouldershakes* Take Over as Human Greetings in the Age of Pandemics!

http://northwardho.blogspot.com/2009/08/as-swine-flu-spreads-globally.html

Doctors now advise about NOT shaking hands or kissing on the lips or even cheeks as a form of greeting as the SWINE FLU PANDEMIC spreads worldwide, putting millions at risk. So as handshakes go out of fashion, upon doctors' medical advice, a new kind of human greeting is taking over, and for want of a better word, it is being called the SHOULDERSHAKE. Other alternatives include Namaste greetings, based on Indian traditions, and Japanese style bow greetings. And more: new alternative greetings will likely spring up, too. Send in your ideas and suggestions with photos to:
bikolang@gmail.com

To do a shouldershake, extend your right hand out straight in front of you with the palm down, place it gently on the person you are greeting's right shoulder, as he or she does the same to you. This way, your hands do not TOUCH and no germs or bacteria are exchanged, flesh to flesh.

See photos for illustrations. Will this catch on? Perhaps.

Hat tip to Professor Solomon in Maryland who first broached this subject with this blog in his book about UFOs, in which he described a similar human to alien shouldershake greeting. I thought to myself: THIS MIGHT BE AN IMPORTANT WAY FOR HUMANS TO GREET EACH OTHER IN THIS AGE OF PANDEMIC SWINE FLU OUTBREAKS!
From Professor Solomon's book: "Can I Smoke Aboard a Flying Saucer?" (pdf)

"He raised his right arm and I thought he was going to shake hands. But he laid his open palm down on my left shoulder, which was evidently their form of greeting or salutation."
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 18, 2009
Hand shake is in electronic parlance: "wired"
Namaste in electronic parlance: "wireless"

Lets go "wire-less" and "worry-less"

Lets spread "awareness" not "SwineFlu"
 
 
May 4, 2009
Check out this website http://www.swine-flu-tracker.com/ that tracks the spread of swine flu, it really puts things in perspective.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
May 4, 2009
OK, I'm a little late to this party, but there's a Canadian TV add running that goes "The Monks at Oka knew how to make cheese like the back of their hands" so perhaps we could greet people by pelting them with curds or maybe Kraft Single Slices. In Quebec, only fulll-on plates of Poutine would do.
 
 
May 4, 2009
Well, we may turn ourselves into japanese people. :-)
 
 
May 4, 2009
The Thai wai is nice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_greeting
 
 
May 2, 2009
http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/05/01/swine.flu.etiquette/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

"Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent who has been covering the epidemic from Mexico, is advocating the "el-bump," or bumping of elbows, as a greeting."
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 2, 2009
This is why Canadians and Elbonians will outlast these pandemics.
We're always wearing mittens.
 
 
May 1, 2009
A guy in my office always either:
a) Crosses his right arm over his chest and nods his head, similar to a roman salute
b) Puts his hands together in front of his chest and nods his head.

Both perfectly acceptable greetings, in my mind. I'm also good at giving a small salute (salutation!)
 
 
May 1, 2009
My work's company wide email was a bit more reasonable:

* Wash your hands frequently, especially after greeting people, and/or use hand sanitizers where soap and water is not available
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands afterwards
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth to keep germs from entering your body.
* Avoid close contact with people exhibiting symptoms of illness
* Practice other basic good hygiene practices
 
 
May 1, 2009
"Health Canada" has a solution, and they recommend elbows as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv_pdEEbwLE
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
May 1, 2009
We already have a Western greeting that accomplishes this. It's called "waving." I usually do it right-handed, with just two fingers (index and middle) raised, and the ring finger bent halfway down touching my thumb, sweeping from my left to right, typically accompanied with a brief casual greeting such as "Yo."

Alternately, there is the "snap your finger, point at the person, and make that kinda toolish tch-tch tongue click sound"

And as many others have suggested, a nod is good too. It is what I use to greet people when I see them in the halls at work, especially multiple times a day.
 
 
May 1, 2009
Scott - expand your horizons a bit ... look to eastern civilizations ... you'll find many ways of greeting that are respectful, warm and yet do not involve physical contact. Forearm bump? I thought you'd be a little more imaginative!
 
 
Apr 30, 2009
i'm all for the chinese/japanese respectful nod.

there is a reason for that.

they've lived long in this pest'ed world.

they KNOW man, they KNOW
 
 
Apr 30, 2009
I'll give up my handshake when pigs fly.
<bows>
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 30, 2009
Just do a plain old "Namaste". Almost every culture has a similar greeting.
 
 
 
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