My daughter took a one credit pass/fail course over the summer. The class was practical: resume writing, linked in help, cover letter inclusions and how to act on an interview. There was one thing thought that the teacher did not know how to answer:

When you meet a prospective client or employer for the first time, what will replace the handshake?

When you meet someone now, what gesture are you going to use?

Do you bow?

Do you wave your hand in the air?

Do you nod your head?

Shake and immediately sanitize? There was a TV character Monk who had many issues, and he would expect someone to hand him a wipe after anyone touched him. Will we all become Monk?

And what if it’s a friend or acquaintance?

Hugs are taboo, much less the Euro two cheek kiss.

Do we all revert to the air kiss from six feet apart?

What about birthday parties?


Don’t you shudder at the thought of someone blowing out candles and then everyone taking a piece of cake?

There have always been instances when we touch other humans: touch is actually good if it’s wanted.

But what do we do now that we don’t think touching is so good anymore?

Will we retreat further into ourselves and grow farther away from human interaction?

Will the next big thing from Apple be little pods that we can seal ourselves up in, full body condoms, ensuring that we will be distanced from those around us?

How do we replace touch?

More importantly, do we want to replace touch?

Reach out and touch me by commenting your feelings.

45 thoughts on “Reach Out and Touch Me

    1. I think people are going to be really leery….remember the adage…when youbtouch some e, you’ve touched everyone they have…do you know how many people they touched?

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  1. Touch is critical for human relationships. We are going to suffer if we don’t bring it back! As for interviews, maybe not that important. Sounds like a good class. On a related note, I went to a birthday lunch on Sunday at a Mexican restaurant and they had the ‘no menus’ thing, but they still brought communal chips and salsa bowls. Yes, we ate it and no masks.

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  2. Touch is so important, isn’t it, and hugs too? It’s tough when you can’t hug friends. For all other meets, we are sorted with our Namaste. It’s long been an appropriate, approved and appreciated greeting in India.

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  3. Love Monk. For friends and family we definitely need to bring back the hug. For business, a nod and smile should be good. Some people I didn’t really want to hug anyway but felt it was expected. My daughter isn’t minding wearing a mask — she says she doesn’t have to smile at everyone that way.

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  4. We went to look at a house for sale. We wore masks inside the property but not outside, looking at the yard. We waited for the realtor to make the first move, and she held her hand out to shake at the end.

    I like the bowing idea. 🙂

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  5. I’m not a big fan of hugging or hand shaking from a medical point of view….it’s just a big germ spreader, so I’m happy the hand shaking thing is a thing of the past. When my mother was in her early 70’s and perfectly healthy, she was hugged by a woman after church who said, “Oh, I’ve been so sick with the flu.” Four days later my mother was in the ICU with flu/pneumonia/sepsis and almost died. People are sometimes thoughtless about things like that. My mother’s new family doctor shook hands with me when I met him for the first time, but inwardly I cringed. Had he disinfected before entering each and every room? My youngish family doctor, just says “Hey Joni.” I think it’s a generational thing. I think a smile is appropriate in a business interview/setting. You’ve acknowledged the person….that’s what counts.

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  6. South FLA is going to struggle because we are a kiss plus hug group. Some do a kiss on each cheek. Very few shake hands. This no contact thing is earth-shattering. I have been using a peace sign to acknowledge folks when I’m going about my business. I see someone down the hall at work, a store clerk to far away to speak to, my neighbors, etc. For work, hmmm. Elbow bump with close work colleague, but I really like namaste.

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  7. I just nod at people. My husband and I were at an outdoor pub and someone was having a birthday party which was well done with well spaced tables etc. When the guest of honor arrived she went from person to person, no mask hugging and kissing. You could see that some were uncomfortable as we were, it was odd and the fact that we thought her greeting was odd was odd. Crap life is odd!

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  8. I don’t want to replace touch. I need hugs. This is a very good question though. While we’re not able to touch what do we do? When I bought my new car recently it was quite a change not to have the salesperson shake my hand on completion of the deal. He smiled and said thanks but it’s just not the same is it? I’m not sure that anything that doesn’t involve physical contact is going to have the same effect.

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  9. I now nod to people I don’t know and wave to those I do, then I blow kisses to those that I would have hugged. I never ever have cake that has had candles on, never have, never will. Or if people have insisted I would take of the icing and just eat the cake. I really don’t think we should be thinking about replacing touch, sometimes only a hug will do, the human touch and cure all sorts of ills

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  10. When I developed arthritis I realised how much I shook hands, and when Covid came along (during a week when we were visiting family) I realised how much hugging we did. I can shake hands again now my medication is working, and the sooner the better. As for people who fear germs – natural immunity. You need germs. Everything I read suggests too much cleaning causes allergies.

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