Of course anyone over 50 (and even most of the younger crowd) automatically stretches out a hand in greeting to a new acquaintance. Heck, some even grab the newcomer in a squashing embrace.
Well with this pandemic and it's no-more-than-six-feet guideline, it's obvious we need to forget the hug option, especially with strangers. But since the handshake is such an automatic reflex, it can be tougher to put aside. So we really need to concentrate on today's safer greeting options.
Some are fairly well-known, like a small bow (deep bows are for very deep respect) with the hands in a palm-together prayer stance. There's now a make-believe high five. I just saw average folks--supermarket cashiers, hospital cleaning personnel, and teachers among them--who would've LOVED to grab celebrity interviewer Harry Connick, Jr., using this "handshake" instead.
But I've got to admit that 'til I saw a story from CNN with a good selection, I didn't realize how many options there are. I share the link here, so take a look and grab a few that'll work whomever you meet. (Love the illustrations by Max Pepper, BTW.)
Oh yes, ESPECIALLY don't shake hands with folks like Jefferson. They've probably been in contact with all sorts of folks!###
Wendy Meyeroff, the Plain Language Leader in B2B and B2C health & tech communications, has been writing for and about older adults for 20+ years. Thanks to Erin_Johnson for pic, through Flickr.com