What About Handshakes? Can I Now Shake Someone’s Hand?

May 20, 2021 3:11 pm Published by

At the very start of the global pandemic known as COVID-19 it was crystal clear that shaking hands was no longer an acceptable way to greet someone when seeing them in person. In fact, hand to hand contact was labeled as one of the most dangerous things you could do in spreading the virus. People were asked to refrain from shaking hands and instead using the elbow bump as a way to greet each other.

SO, now that the mask mandate has been lifted and things are returning to “normal” can our greetings return to normal too and include a handshake? Well, the answer is, not so fast.

While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued pretty clear guidance on mask wearing, they haven’t been as clear on handshaking. The guidance on this is blurry at best, so it is our estimation that handshaking should continue to be something that is limited. It may be ok to high five or hug someone you know is vaccinated and that you are familiar with, but greeting a stranger with a handshake is still not the preferred method for greeting them.

A handshake still carries the chance that the virus is transmitted between people and while that wouldn’t mean much to someone who is already vaccinated, it may cause an unvaccinated person to get infected and could spread the virus further. Since there are other, socially acceptable ways of greeting one an another it stands to reason that we stick with the elbow bump for the time being.

As the country moves from a percentage of people vaccinated to herd immunity status the CDC may put out guidance that further clarifies whether or not it is ok to shake someone’s hand, but until then we should stick with the tried and true elbow bump until further notice.