Given the coronavirus, is it okay to kiss your date or shake hands with your boss?
Do you turn your back when someone offers you a hand, a kiss or a hug?
As the coronavirus toll rises – with Pennsylvania added to the list of states with infected adults and closed out-of-school children on Friday – how is your personal life affected?
We asked Brian Labus, professor of public health at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, what types of physical contact are safe while COVID-19 is spreading:
If a person’s hand is covered with the virus because they coughed into it right before they shook your hand, it’s no different than handling their dirty tissue. Your hand is now infected, and if you absently rub your eyes or touch your mouth, you have just infected yourself.
You rely on others to wash their hands to protect you, but we know people don’t wash their hands even after using the bathroom.
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Health experts around the world recommend that people reduce unnecessary physical contact with other people, such as shaking hands or kissing on the cheek. Even the French recommended not to kiss the cheeks.
You can always greet each person warmly and politely without touching them, bumping your elbows or fists, stomping your foot (the popular ‘Wuhan shake’ on social media), simply waving your hand or waving your hand. one of the many other creative suggestions that appear online. .
It is not about making extreme changes to our social interactions; it’s about taking simple steps to help lower your risk of disease.
The other important step in protecting yourself is to wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. This is an essential part of your protection, because you cannot get a virus into your mucous membranes if you take it out of your hands.
As this epidemic progresses, we may see the refusal to shake hands not as a snub, but as an expression of genuine concern for everyone’s health.
If you’re worried about offending someone by using hand sanitizer after shaking someone’s hand, offer them some of your hand sanitizer as well. Change the conversation and help make having clean hands something that is not only important to you, but also socially desirable.
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