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Avoid germs! Say “hello” like a Vulcan

With the coronavirus officially a pandemic of global proportions and grocery stores turned into wastelands, we’re all preparing to hunker down for an extended period of time in order to slow the spread of the disease. But, of course, we can’t stay locked away forever. The real question now is how do we greet each other when the coronavirus spreads so easily from person to person. 

That firm handshake that you’re grandfather said everyone should have is definitely out right now. What’s a good way to start greeting each other? Luckily, from film and television, we have a couple of solid options to stop spreading germs by shaking each other’s hands.

Vulcan salute

Any geek worth his or her salt knows how to do the Vulcan salute (a.k.a. the ta’al). You hold your palm form with your thumb extended and part your middle and ring fingers. The Vulcan salute usually accompanied by a “live long and prosper”, responded with “peace and long life”.

Given how Star Trek has permeated the culture for over 50 years, the Vulcan ta’al has become a recognizable gesture of greeting. The best part is that the greeting forgoes touching as in Star Trek; Vulcans are a touch telepath race.

Wakanda Forever

Chadwick Boseman may be tired of doing the Wakanda Forever greeting, but it’s probably cutting down on his chance of getting the coronavirus. Introduced to the popular consciousness in 2018’s Black Panther, the gesture is very simple. You just cross your arms in an X in front of your chest.

The greeting has already been adopted by celebrities such as Octavia Spencer as an alternative to a handshake.

Don’t want to let your inner geek shine? Here are some other touchless greetings

Flashing the Vulcan salute during a business meeting, especially a serious one, probably isn’t the best move. There are other ways to greet another person without a handshake. Here’s a quick list of some of our favorites.

  1. Nodding your head
  2. Place your hand over your head 
  3. Waving
  4. A bow
  5. Curtsey

Some people are also suggesting bumping forearms or even a fist bump. Believe it or not, handshakes transfer 90% more bacteria than a fist bump ever could. There’s also the “cruise tap” where you and another person tap two knuckles together.

These are just some ways where you can be polite and greet another person without having to touch them.

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