Peace, man

I heard on the radio this morning that the public at large is now supposed to avoid shaking hands due to the H1N1 virus. Instead, the piece stated, people should do a fist bump, or perhaps an elbow slap, which I, quite frankly, find very amusing. I can just picture business people in an important client meeting, fist bumping each other like a roomful of Howie Mandells. Are you planning a wedding this season? Having a receiving line? Don’t forget to elbow slap your guests. Nothing says “Thanks for coming, Grandma” like an elbow slap. Perhaps we should just give up touching other people all together, and simply salute each other? Or maybe exchange a peace sign. It will be just like the sixties, but without the promiscuity and hallucinogens.

It’s no secret I’m a bit of a germ-phobe. Doorknobs gross me out, public drinking fountains disgust me, and I actually shuddered while watching two people swig from the same water bottle on a TV show. This latter made my husband gently suggest that maybe I should relax lest I turn into a crazy person. What do you mean turn into? I think that line has already been crossed. If my life had a soundtrack, the opening chords to “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” would begin to swell.

Anyway, despite this little quirk of mine, I am also a hand shaker. AND a hugger. In fact, if I haven’t seen you for a while, I will probably give you a huge hug upon meeting again. And if our meeting again takes place during a gathering where I have had a glass of wine, I might just give you a big kiss on your cheek in addition. If I’m coughing and hacking and running a fever, I won’t. In fact, if I’m coughing and hacking and running a fever, I’m probably still in my house. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the majority of the population will likely not shake hands/ hug/ kiss if they are down with the flu.

I am actually very appreciative of all the media coverage of the H1N1 pandemic for one reason: handwashing awareness at schools. I clearly recall that soap was seldom available in my high school washrooms, and when it was available, it was a rock hard revolting sliver on the side of the sink. However, some of this media coverage is starting to look like it was created by people who are crazier than I am. No handshakes? No hugs? Maybe we should all just roll around in a germ-free bubble until March.


  1. I guess nose rubbing is out, huh?

  2. Subspace Beacon says

    I’m a hand shaker too. I never thought of it as being a potential risky situation.

    Maybe I’ll just start doing jazz hands.

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