A Kansas City-area event and meeting planning company began selling “I Shake Hands” stickers to ease awkward social interactions as the pandemic grew.
John DeLeon (Vice President of Operations at MTI Events), stated that they didn’t want the sticker saying “We Don’t Shake Hands” because that would be off-putting. He also said that the idea was to allow anti-shakers to choose to not wear the stickers. “But, if someone had that sticker on in that group then that was an indication that it was okay.”
As workers return to work, friends reunite, and more church services shift to Zoom, the exact question that is being asked by increasing numbers of people is: To shake or not shake?
Since ancient times, the handshake has been used. It is widely believed that the handshake was created to show someone that the person is offering peace and not carrying a weapon. However, germs can also be on hands — they can be covered with fecal matter or E.coli.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is the nation’s foremost infectious disease expert and cautioned that he didn’t believe we should ever shake hands again.
Dr. Amesh Adalja is an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University. He believes the whole shaking debate is exaggerated. He says that if you’re concerned about COVID, it is best to get fully vaccinated. For any other items that may be on hands of others, wash your hands after touching your face. This is why hand sanitizer exists.
It is hard to deny the greeting, which seems almost instinctual. Remote workers have been kept in their bedrooms and kitchens for many months. Zoom has been used to transfer meetings, birthdays and retirement parties, as well as funerals. It has been difficult to lose connections. The resurgence and popularity of the delta variant raises new questions about what normal will look like.
DeLeon doesn’t think the handshake will ever return. His company’s stickers were never a hit. Others sold stickers and signs that discouraged handshakes, including one with a skeleton and another covered in COVID-19 germs.
“I played golf the other day with a guy I hadn’t met before and we got along well.” He explained that on the 18th hole, it is customary to stick your hand out and take your hat off. Then you shake hands with the person you played with.” “And we just stared at one another and fist bumped and then walked away.”
Experts in etiquette and businessmen like Dave McClain (52), of Overland Park, Kansas, caution that this is not the case. McClain recalls finding one of the “I Shake Hands” stickers at a networking event, and then gluing it to his shirt.