Will we ever shake hands again?

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Photo by Kaysa Flemk-Joli

Coronavirus has changed the very fabric in which society operates with social distancing. Now the (NIAID) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Anthony Fauci says we may see some permanent changes in the way we interact with others. If we can make small changes to prevent or lessen the next pandemic, I say make the changes.

“I don’t think we should ever shake hands again, to be honest with you,” Fauci said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on April 7.  

I stand with Fauci on the idea of a world without handshakes. Handshakes are just a very good way to spread germs. First off, when going in for a hand shake you don’t know where each other’s hands have been throughout the day. All the germs that you had touched that day have now spread to the other persons hand and vice versa. 

“Not only would it be good to prevent coronavirus disease; it probably would decrease influenza cases throughout the country as well,” Fauci said. 

Influenza, the biggest threat for people worldwide every year could be reduced if we stopped our pointless tradition of a greeting by shaking hands. Handshaking is a common American gesture that must go away if we want a healthier America. 

Alternatives to shaking hands that are far safer include a wave, fist bump, foot tap or even just a “hello.” These safer alternatives could improve the health of millions of Americans and prevent another world pandemic. 

America will definitely change once we get out of quarantine. While I don’t know how much it will change, I know it will be for the better. Handshaking may still be instilled in American culture, because Americans are quite a stubborn bunch when it comes to their traditions, but I hope next time Americans see their co-workers they will consider not shaking hands for a safer alternative.