What Should We Replace Handshakes With In An Era Of Coronavirus?

President Barack Obama bumps elbows with actor Steve Martin in 2013 as fellow actor Jim Parsons looks on approvingly.

The humble handshake has taken a big hit to its reputation as the novel coronavirus has spread around the world. Governments are now warning their citizens that on top of washing their hands frequently, they should avoid unnecessary contact — including the customary greeting for millions.

It’s not just handshakes that are out. France’s health minister has said people should avoid the double-cheek kisses that his country is known for. And in Italy, the government’s special commissioner for the coronavirus sympathized with how difficult it would be to cut back on contact.

Luckily, the world is a very big place and there are plenty of No-Contact Greetings to choose from. We’ve put together a sample of them and want to know which you think should replace the handshake in these trying times:

  1. Handshakes gotta go, but for what?

    BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

    Via Photo by Tanzanian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    A foot tap (otherwise known as “the Wuhan shake”)Via Photo by Tanzanian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    Via Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

    An elbow tapVia Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

    Via Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    A shoulder bumpVia Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Via Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for NARAS

    Sticking your tongue outVia Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for NARAS

    Via Photo by Ben Birchall – Pool/Getty Images

    Namaste (India, Nepal)Via Photo by Ben Birchall – Pool/Getty Images

    Via Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

    Placing your right hand on your heartVia Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

    Via Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for DGA

    Jazz handsVia Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for DGA

    Via IRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

    A winkVia IRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

    Via Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Raising your eyebrowsVia Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Via ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

    A hip bumpVia ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

    Via LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA / Contributor

    Wai (Thailand)Via LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA / Contributor

    ViaChina Daily via REUTERS

    A waveViaChina Daily via REUTERS

    Via (Photo by Haidar HAMDANI / AFP

    V for Victory/peace signVia (Photo by Haidar HAMDANI / AFP

    Via TORU YAMANAKA/AFP via Getty Images

    Ojigi (Japanese-style bowing)Via TORU YAMANAKA/AFP via Getty Images

    Via Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image

    A saluteVia Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Image

    Via DIDA SAMPAIO/ESTADAO CONTEUDO (Agencia Estado via AP Images)

    Finger gunsVia DIDA SAMPAIO/ESTADAO CONTEUDO (Agencia Estado via AP Images)

    Via BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

    FlossingVia BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

    Via Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

    A Vulcan saluteVia Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

    Via Denis Balibouse

    A pirouetteVia Denis Balibouse

  1.  votevotesA foot tap (otherwise known as “the Wuhan shake”)
  2.  votevotesAn elbow tap
  3.  votevotesA shoulder bump
  4.  votevotesSticking your tongue out
  5.  votevotesNamaste (India, Nepal)
  6.  votevotesPlacing your right hand on your heart
  7.  votevotesJazz hands
  8.  votevotesA wink
  9.  votevotesRaising your eyebrows
  10.  votevotesA hip bump
  11.  votevotesWai (Thailand)
  12.  votevotesA wave
  13.  votevotesV for Victory/peace sign
  14.  votevotesOjigi (Japanese-style bowing)
  15.  votevotesA salute
  16.  votevotesFinger guns
  17.  votevotesFlossing
  18.  votevotesA Vulcan salute
  19.  votevotesA pirouette

Matthew Champion is a deputy world news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Matthew Champion at [email protected]

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  • Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

    Contact Hayes Brown at [email protected]

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