I get that some people are paranoid about shaking hands during the current COVID-19 crisis.

I know that you’re washing your hands, but what about the other person?

There are no guarantees about their hygiene, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t connect in some way, and the worst thing we can do in moments like this is become rude and impersonal.

We need human connection, so what are some alternatives?

  1. Smile and nod.  I know it seems obvious, but just because you don’t want to shake hands doesn’t mean that you can’t acknowledge the other person,
  2. Use your words.  You may not be able to connect physically, but you can still say, “Hey man, it’s great to see you,”
  3. Compliment their shoes.  Say something nice about the other person, it doesn’t have to be their shoes, but it’s a good place to start,
  4. Send a text.  So, this isn’t for when you’re actually in front of someone.  That would be weird.  But if you find yourself working from home, make sure that you reach out to the people you would normally shake hands with on a regular basis as a way of staying connected,
  5. Tap feet.  I know it sounds crazy, but perhaps you can tap your left feet and then your right feet with the other person. At the very worst, it will bring a smile and your feet are covered in shoes, so there’s no risk,

I know that these are simple ideas, but the point here is to make sure that during a time when many people are feeling fearful and concerned, that we find a way to continue to connect with others and build them up.

I hear a lot of people saying that a crisis brings out the worst in people.

Let’s make sure that we find a way to bring out the best in people.