A firm handshake is a solid building block in a business relationship and also a fantastic way to share in whatever germ-laden trip the owner has recently taken it on. Do you abhor the handshake?
Over at the Boston Globe, Neil Swidey poses the question: will we ever get rid of the handshake? It’s a well-aged practice dating back millenniums and long thought to be a way for two people to demonstrate that they were unarmed. These days we tend to settle more matters with rapier wit and less with actual rapiers, so the gesture has certainly lost some of its swashbuckling flair.
Last month, swine flu officially became a pandemic. Public health officials have said so-called “social distancing” strategies — sharply reducing contact with others — have proved most effective in slowing the spread of previous outbreaks, such as the 1918 flu pandemic. And they told us to cut down on our handshakes as much as we could. Northeastern University heeded the advice, asking its graduates not to shake hands when receiving their diplomas during the school’s commencement ceremony in May.
Even before public health officials were urging us to stop grinding our collection of pathogens into the hands of strangers, many people were growing tired of the hand shaking ritual.
Have you eschewed the handshake for another greeting? Still keep shaking but keep a hand sanitizer in your briefcase? Sound off in the comments below with your stance on handshakes.