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The Handshake

We all do it. With friends, relatives and even strangers. We offer our hand in greeting. Shaking hands is nothing new. In ancient times it was used to convey peaceful intentions. Shaking hands proved you did not have weapon in your hand or anything up your sleeve. It was also a symbol of good faith when making an oath or promise. In America, the  -popularity of the handshake can be traced back to 18th century Quakers—showing friendship to all no matter who. Perhaps foreshadowing today’s coronavirus pandemic, nurse Leila Given wrote an article in the American Journal of Nursing based on a 1929 study warning that hands “are agents of bacterial transfer.” Citing earlier studies that a handshake could easily spread germs. Bringing us front and center to greeting others during Pandemic 2020. With all the hand sanitizer gone from the store shelves, every one of us needs to take precautions during this crazy time. If you feel like you must make a greeting gesture, consider the growing popularity of the elbow bump or the foot tap. The point being, be careful, be smart, we will all get through this and will once again be greeting our friends and neighbors by shaking hands.

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