How greetings are evolving due to COVID-19


Courtesy of Manteca Bulletin

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

Coronavirus has, no doubt, taken a toll on our lives; however, it has now become a way of life for many of us. Social distancing regulations recommend staying six feet away from everyone at all times to prevent the spread of the virus. This regulation has caused many people to think of creative ways on how to greet each other instead of a traditional handshake or hug. Additionally, many health officials have warned people on using regular greetings and find new greetings instead. Several trends have been going through the internet such as the Wuhan Shake, elbow bumps, chin ups, foot “shakes”, bowing down, and several others

With Covid-19 emerging in China, they all had to quickly adapt to their new life. This caused the Wuhan Shake in replacement 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 also been used as a replacement for the hand shake. 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 become a prominent way to greet people during these times. It is when two people touch their elbows together to replace touching hands so that there is no hand-to-hand touching between people to reduce the spread of the virus. This form of greeting has been used by virtually anyone such as politicians, influencers, and even sports players. In addition to elbow bumps, chin ups have also been used as a sign of recognition and now used a greeting. Chin ups have been used when people see each other and used as an acknowledgement. Due to Covid-19, chin ups have been used more often than before because it’s 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 Asia.

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, so players now have to elbow bump or not shake each other’s hands at all. This has caused a question to come up with that the players need to do now. 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 hand shake has become something that people no longer can do in just the span of a couple months. Although the hand shake 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. And something as simple as handshakes shows us how much our lives have changed as a result of Covid-19.