Greetings evolve due to COVID-19


Courtesy of Manteca Bulletin

Elbow bumps have become a popular greeting during recent times to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Covid-19 has, no doubt, taken a toll on our lives, and, it has now become a way of life for many of us. Social distancing guidelines recommend staying six feet away from everyone at all times to prevent the spread of the virus. This recommendation has caused many people to think of creative ways on how to greet each other because they cannot do the traditional handshake or hug. Additionally, many health officials have warned people not to use traditional greetings and to find new, socially distant greetings instead. Several trends have been going through the internet such as the Wuhan Shake, elbow bumps, chin ups, foot “shakes,” and bowing down, just to name a few.

When Covid-19 emerged in China, the Chinese population had to quickly adapt to their new life. This caused people to make the “Wuhan Shake” in replace of the regular handshake. The Wuhan Shake is a shake in which the participants are tapping their feet together in a dance-like movement. A video of this went viral in the beginning of March 2020 and caused many people to accept the challenge and learn the Wuhan Shake. Many public and political people have attempted to do this greeting and have encouraged others to try it as well. In addition, the dance went viral on the platform of Tiktok. Many influencers on the app such as Charli Damelio, Noah Schnapp, and even Jimmy Kimmel have all done the challenge. This new “shake” has replaced many of the more traditional shakes that we have seen in our past.

Much like the “Wuhan Shake,” foot shakes have been used as a replacement to the handshake, a foot shake is just a simple touch of a foot and it is used often because it avoids unnecessary touching when it comes to greeting others.

Elbow bumps have also become a prominent way to greet people during these times. In an elbow bump, two people touch their elbows together to replace touching hands so that there is no unnecessary touching between people to reduce the spread of the virus. This form of greeting has been used by virtually people in all walks of life such as politicians, influencers, and even sports players.

In addition to elbow bumps, chin ups (where people raise and lower their chin as an acknowledgement) have also been used as a sign of recognition in the past and are now used as a standard greeting. Due to Covid-19, chin ups have been used more often than they have been used before because this is a contactless way of greeting others.

Another form of contactless greeting that follows the social distancing guidelines is bowing down. Bowing down is traditionally used as a sign of gratitude or appreciativeness, although now it is being used more informally and as a greeting. Although this greeting is not used as often in the United States, it is definitely used as a prominent greeting in the majority of the Asian continent.

During sports events, there have been several new ways that the players interact and greet each other without touching. Usually when the players finish their games, they all go into a line and shake the other team’s hands. Due to the virus, we can no longer do that because everyone wants to avoid unnecessary touching. There has not been a direct solution to this problem; however, the players now either elbow bump or not shake each other’s hands at all. Changes in greetings have come to other sports as well. In golf, players now touch their golf clubs together as a new greeting. This innovative way of greeting has been used by golfers in several different places.

Covid-19 has changed all of our lives forever. Such a simple thing like a handshake has become something that people no longer can do in just the span of a few months. Although, the handshake is no longer an appropriate greeting, there have been many creative ways to greet each other that have emerged like the “Wuhan Shake”, elbow bumps, and several others. So much has truly been changed due to the pandemic.