Coronavirus Forces Handshake To Be Forbidden – But You Can Always Perform “Footshake” Or Elbow-Bump

Pin It

Mar 05 2020
Linked In

Xi Jinping rarely mingles with the public. But the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak forced him to take a walk outside the municipal office in the Anhuali neighbourhood in Beijing last month as part of a publicity stunt to assure people that everything was under control. As he was chatting with ordinary folks, the Chinese president joked that it was not a good idea to shake hands during such “special time”.


Similarly, a day after the first confirmed case of the Coronavirus in Switzerland, newspaper screamed about companies banning handshakes. Andreessen Horowitz, a well-known venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, had put up an interesting greeting sign on its door, warning – “Due to the Coronavirus, No Handshakes please. Thank you.”


The outbreak has led not only Europa League games to be played behind closed doors, but also the banning of handshakes among staff of soccer clubs across Europe. The ritual where everyone – staff and players – shakes hands as soon as they meet each other every morning is no longer encouraged as the highly infectious virus continues to spread.

Coronavirus - Italy Rome

Italy, the epicenter of Europe’s Coronavirus outbreak, has confirmed earlier speculations that the nation will close all schools from Thursday (March 5) for 10 days. All sports events will be played behind closed doors for a month. A jaw-dropping 107 people have so far been killed by the virus in Italy, while 3,089 people were infected.


As one of the worst hit from the flu-like virus outside of China, the Italian government now plans to release a new set of rules to contain the spread of the Coronavirus – urging people to avoid shaking hands or even hugging. Two days ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s attempt to shake hands with the country’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, was rejected.


The refusal to engage in handshakes was understandable, considering that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Germany jumped to 240 on Wednesday (March 4), up from 196 on Tuesday. German Health Minister Jens Spahn has already that the new outbreak has become a “worldwide pandemic”. While a handshake represents an established social custom, the banning of handshake isn’t a new idea.

Coronavirus - German Chancellor Angela Merkel Handshake Rejected

In 2014, researchers and doctors published an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association that says hospitals should consider banning handshakes due to hygiene reasons. They argued that the greeting plays an important role in spreading infection and disease. Hands can pass along germs that can cause disease, especially respiratory infections like colds or the flu.


But the handshake isn’t the only greeting that is increasingly taking a backseat.  A Maori tribe in Wellington, New Zealand, has banned – temporarily – its traditional “hongi” greeting, where two people press their noses together and at the same time touch foreheads. The country has recorded its third confirmed case of Coronavirus.


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) told its citizens and residents to avoid travel due to the Coronavirus risk, warning that people entering the country will have to undergo medical checkups and quarantine. At the same time, the Middle Eastern kingdom also advised its citizens, via an Instagram post, to avoid traditional nose-to-nose greetings.

Coronavirus - Handshake Footshake - Tanzania President John Magufuli

As a replacement for the customary handshake, some world leaders have found a more fun and entertaining greeting – “footshake”. Known as the “Wuhan shake” in China, Tanzania President John Magufuli was seen performing the foot shake when he was photographed “tapping feet” with the leader of the opposition party Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad.


To combat Coronavirus transmission, the WHO’s (World Health Organization) director of the pandemic and epidemic diseases department at the World Health Organization (WHO), Sylvie Briand has shown support for “handshake alternative” such the foot-shake. But the foot shake wasn’t the only alternative to handshake as people got creative as a result of the virus.


The National University of Singapore had a few suggestions. Singapore’s Yon Loo Lin School of Medicine posted some alternatives for the traditional handshake and flirty kiss in its comic / guide under the “COVID-19 Chronicles” – bumping elbows, foot shake, Thai “wai” or simply waves to each other. Arguably, those alternatives are many times more fun.

Coronavirus - Handshake Alternatives - Comic

At a quarantine facility in Omaha, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts was seen encouraging people to bump elbows to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. He also advised people to “exercise good hygiene like washing your hands and other precautions.” In the United States, 11 people have died – 10 in Washington State and one in California – and some 158 confirmed cases.


Other Articles That May Interest You …

Pin It

FinanceTwitter SignOff
If you enjoyed this post, what shall you do next? Consider:

Like FinanceTwitter Tweet FinanceTwitter Subscribe Newsletter   Leave Comment Share With Others


No “shakes” or “bumps” needed for our corrupt and useless politicians.

Where any sign of affection needed – or even just greeting, just use the middle finger.

Leave a Reply


(required)(will not be published)