A girl hugging her mom.

What about the handshake? What about a hug?

These days, we are able to be affectionate at home. Once we step outside, the acceptable forms of greeting are limited to the laws of personal space. Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels.

When was the last time you shook the hand of another person or hugged someone? Even at home, it seems we are less apt to be affectionate. COVID lurks around every corner.

For knights in feudal times and in the military today, the salute is the accepted greeting. Kings and nobles used the bow. There was the full bow on the right knee, a slight nod or removal of your headgear depending on the status of the greeter and greeted.

When you consider how things were done back then, maybe we should reconsider the handshake.

Which brings us to the hug. In our COVID world, New York Times writer Tara Parker-Pope gives us these acceptable hugs. She asked scientists who study airborne viruses to offer suggestions. Get ready to hug—all three ways with face masks on both the hugger and the hugged.

  1. Hug facing opposite directions.
  2. Allow children to hug you around the knees or waist.
  3. Kiss your grandchild on the back of the head.

My family tends to like the sign of peace, thumbs up or throwing a kiss. But now we know how to hug safely.

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