It seems the new cool way of greeting is to bump elbows instead of shaking hands. This is something you should never, never do.
We see famous people, movie stars, even our Vice President Pence, Speaker of the House Pelosi, and a host of other people telling us this is the right thing to do.
They are WRONG.
This grave error is occurring on all sides of the aisle. Vice President Pence is above and Speaker Pelosi is in the photo below. Both are bumping elbows.
And Biden and Sanders made it worse by bumping/oddly rubbing their forearms. Yes, this is much, much WORSE.
Why is this so bad?
Why should you never do this?
Because as of 2003 and the SARS epidemic, we developed what is called “cough etiquette.” This really took off in 2009 during the H1N1 epidemic when President Obama came on TV and demonstrated how we should be coughing and sneezing into the pit of our elbow, not on our hands.
This kept germs off of our hands and the surfaces we touched. It also made handshaking a whole lot safer for all of us.
It replaced a disgusting habit of coughing or sneezing onto your hand and then offering it to another person when you go to shake.
Coughing into your elbow is GOOD. But bumping elbows is BAD.
Because every time you rub those parts of your arms together, you are transferring your germs onto the elbow of another person who will then bring them up to his or her own face when they cough or sneeze.
I have had people say to me, “But I am touching the outside of my elbow in the bump and coughing or sneezing onto the inside. Two separate places.”
They are not separate places at all
Sneezes and coughs spatter in a wider arc than the average person may realize. Also, germs are not stationary. They are living things that move and creep around on your arm. Fabric shifts as well, making the entire area completely CONTAMINATED.
Further, for those of us with children in our lives, especially young children, where do they nestle? Why in the crook of your arm, of course. There is little we can do to change the anatomy of our bodies, or the way we hold children. Whether we touch them with our arms or our elbows, they are going to be around our germs.
But they should not be around the germs of the strangers we bump elbows with.
So never, never bump elbows, unless you are prepared to bring all that viral and bacterial mess into your life.
Don’t get me started on fist bumping.
Stay tuned for my next post on what to do when you cannot shake hands.
Be safe everyone.