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Dr. Ezike on handshakes: “Between a year and never again”

Friday, Jun 19, 2020

* Tina Sfondeles

Dr. Ngozi Ezike didn’t let her kids see their friends until this week.

And that was a carefully supervised backyard get-together — with masks.

She’s all for outdoor dining with the safety guidance she helped craft. And she got a manicure behind plexiglass from a woman who has done her nails for 15 years.

But handshakes?

“Not now. Between a year and never again,” the head of the Illinois Department of Public Health told the Sun-Times in a wide-ranging interview about her personal do’s and don’ts as she helps Illinois navigate through the pandemic. […]

She’s OK with outdoor restaurants, with guidance she helped to craft. But she said she’d wait at least three months to feel safe in any indoor restaurants.

As usual, Tina has written a top-notch story. Please click here to read the whole thing.

* My own thoughts on handshakes…


Yours?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

36 Comments
  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 9:51 am:

    I’m a fan of the Japanese custom of bowing.


  2. - PublicServant - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 9:52 am:

    I flash the peace sign. Hey, worked in the 60s.


  3. - Steve Rogers - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 9:54 am:

    I’ve been nodding my head toward a person I would normally have shaken hands with. A more pronounced bow if I want to show more respect. I think I’m done shaking hands.


  4. - Bruce (no not him) - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 9:59 am:

    Sometimes, “over the top paranoia” is the right thing.


  5. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:00 am:

    The Little Rascals wave, with dancing fingers under your chin.


  6. - Swampy Corn - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:01 am:

    PublicServant, just always check that your peace sign is facing the right direction. Still one of my favorite stories of all time.

    https://apnews.com/42939a95e2b694ec6262ff5949d910c9


  7. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:02 am:

    I hold my folder in my right and my phone in my left so I don’t have a free hand and I just wave, but I’m going to start using Rich’s trick.


  8. - essentially working - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:11 am:

    jazz hands


  9. - Bruce (no not him) - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:11 am:

    I was replying above to a comment that Rich has apparently deleted. That’s why my comment doesn’t make sense.


  10. - Lurker - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:11 am:

    I coached Jr High basketball for 20 years, 8 years boys and then 12 years girls. Trust me when I say you don’t even want to think about what is on those hands after a game. Those handshake lines made me a fist-bumper before fist bumping was cool.


  11. - bogey golfer - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:12 am:

    My mom’s wake later today with the mass and burial tomorrow. What will I miss the most - hugs. Handshakes are almost involuntary. Will be a long 2 days.


  12. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:17 am:

    Bogey, I’m sorry to hear that.


  13. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:19 am:

    Tibetans stick their tongue out as a greeting.


  14. - bhartbanjo - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:21 am:

    The picture of the restaurant with large teddy bears placeholders is much less creepy than the ones I’ve seen with manikins or blow-up dolls.


  15. - NIU Grad - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:25 am:

    How to wrap up meetings or casual encounters going forward: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTAXUYLbFYk


  16. - John Lee Pettimore, III - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:26 am:

    I am going with the Benny Hill salute.

    https://gph.is/28WAk0P


  17. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:29 am:

    Have spent time in Japan. The bowing never really felt normal to me and I don’t see that taking off around here. I was always aware of shaking hands before in cold and flu season and will just be prepared to stay safe after shaking hands.

    Its not going away in my profession or area of work. I’ll be real surprised if the culture allows its. It’s how deals are sealed and your word is given.


  18. - Sayitaintso - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:37 am:

    Do the Ralph Kramden “Racoon Club” greeting. Especially effective when you want a short interaction (or none at all)


  19. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:38 am:

    I generally thing a handshake is a nice way of making an acknowledgement of many different levels of recognition.

    However, I have also been prone to wondering how long this creeper was going to continue to hold my hand and not let go — though I do recognize some politicians might do this the entire time they’re speaking briefly to someone on a rope line, but other times… I could do without the thumb massage on the back of my hand.

    I have also had the opportunity to see the insane amount of hand sanitizer that nationally known politicians will insist on having another person pour on their hands after a rope line, so obviously some folks have concerns.

    And if we never resume handshakes, never again will we have to fear use of the stinkplam.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:46 am:

    To the post,

    I was brought up on “handshakes”, culturally, for me, one of the most important things and ways to show respect, I am (was) a huge proponent of handshakes. For now, it’s all over.

    I’m still confused how those unwilling to wear a mask or pushing handshakes or questionable social decisions make you “tough”.

    Showing respect is respecting others’ health.

    Someday, I hope handshakes can safely come back.


  21. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 10:59 am:

    I’m done shaking hands and I won’t miss it. I wasn’t a germophobe before but I was still pretty cognizant of what and who I touched and washing regularly.

    I might do a simple namaste, or the suggestion above. I suspect some sort of greeting will take a dominant form in place of the handshake and I’ll probably go with whatever that is when society has figured it out.


  22. - Earnest - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 11:08 am:

    I know some people tap elbows because they want the physical contact, but my recommendation is to tap hips as though doing the hustle. Unfortunately I’m surrounded by people who don’t know what that means, so I just nod and smile.


  23. - FormerParatrooper - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    The handshake could tell you a lot about a person and set the tone for the upcoming discussion. I am not sure how a fist or elbow bump can be evaluated but that is the step we are learning now.

    It is a strange time with new customs emerging.


  24. - Uptown Progressive - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 11:23 am:

    “The holy in me bows to the holy in you”


  25. - Captain Who - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 11:26 am:

    I’m all for the Vulcan greeting.


  26. - @misterjayem - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 11:37 am:

    This news bums me to no end.

    – MrJM


  27. - West Sider - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 11:44 am:

    I was raised to respect a firm handshake. I have learned to appreciate social hugs. Being afraid of other people saddens me to no end.


  28. - revvedup - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 12:00 pm:

    Latest CDC guidance says risk of transmitting by touch is very low, but if you’re close enough to shake hands you need a face cover/mask on anyway. That and a pocket bottle of hand sanitizer (which is showing up in grocery stores now in quantity by me).


  29. - Jocko - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 12:30 pm:

    I’m doing more fist bumping, but it’s not second nature (yet). I can let go of handshakes (pardon the pun), but really miss the occasional hug.


  30. - nerdy - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:00 pm:

    I do the Hawaiian “hang loose” “shaka”, or the Vulcan salute.


  31. - obiter dictum - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:04 pm:

    i am with Captain Who: live long and prosper


  32. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:14 pm:

    I definitely am a handshake person and have always liked handshakes. I miss them along with friend hugs.


  33. - Huh? - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    When I was a preteen, the night before a duck hunting trip, my grandfather taught me how to shake hands: firm grip, shake twice, and let go. He wanted me to be able to fit in with his friends the next morning. A lesson I fondly recall over 50 years later.

    Now as I age, arthritis has crept into my hands, making a hand shake painful. So I wave hello.


  34. - RIJ - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    I’ve always avoided shaking hands and am happy to never have to shake another.


  35. - ArchPundit - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 2:20 pm:

    Handshakes are so ingrained in how I learned to be polite and interact formally people found it awkward how often I would try and shake hands. I won’t miss it though–if I can stop my automatic tendency to raise my hand when greeting someone in a formal situation.


  36. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Jun 19, 20 @ 2:29 pm:

    I won’t miss handshakes, but I do miss hugs. We don’t not hug enough.


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