I was browsing the news today and saw that experts are now recommending that in order to decrease infectious contamination, we must all stop shaking hands. I repeat: Stop shaking hands! My reaction looks something like this:
Errr. Uhmmm. Errr. I find myself completely unprepared to comprehend this instruction. It is as if someone is challenging my very being - calling into question who I am at my very core. It is even worse than when some knucklehead says I'm not a Christian.
Stop shaking hands? What will become of us as a church? As a culture? That's what we do! We shake hands! If you can't shake hands, what are you supposed to do with the people you have nothing to say to? If you can't shake hands, how can you pass intantaneous judgement on a person by the strength of their grip? Without shaking hands, how can you force eye contact with a teenager? You can't!
I cannot - nay - I WILL NOT succumb to the pressure of these "so-called" experts. They obviously do not understand Mormonism, nor the impact it would make on our society and sociality.
What are we supposed to do? Here's some of their recommendations:
Fist-bumps. Yeah, think that through - Sacrament meeting is about to start, and at the last minute, the Stake President enters through the side door and walks up to the stand. The bishopric respectfully stands and warmly greets the Stake President with a reverent fist-bump. All except the 2nd Counselor who forgets and does the "explosion with wiggly fingers" after the fact.
Air-kisses. We could try the "air kiss" like they do in most of the world, and in Hollywood- even though I spent two years of my life teaching girls and women to stop trying to air-kiss me. (Ask any RM who served internationally, and he will tell you about his personal stiff-arm technique) Personally, I kinda like the air-kiss, as long as I get to be the one deciding when it is used. My EC apparently likes it - especially if she is in Venice, and the guy is a handsome, charming Italian, named Matteo. (Let it go, let it go)
Elbow touching. Yeah, this one is stupid. Touching elbows is so personal, donchya think? I have been to some countries where they will offer their elbow to shake if their hands are dirty or full. It feels like you are greeting an amputee - everytime.
Besides, one of the major accomplishments of the educational system (other than banishing the term "Indian style") has been teaching our young ones to cough and sneeze into their...elbows. Yep. You sneeze into your elbow, then we touch elbows, then I sneeze into mine - suddenly we have a ginglymus petri-dish. (Yes, you might need to look that up.)
Obviously, none of these would work in the halls between block meetings. So I offer a few of my own:
1) Latex gloves. Especially for the Priests. And Nursery workers.
2) Mandatory de-contamination rooms for all Primary workers.
3) 1st greeting: Handshake, all subsequent greetings to the same person: Thumbs up. I know there have been times where I have shaken the same person's hand 20 times on any given sabbath. (This is actually very common for any member of the Ward Council)
4) Just keep shaking hands, and hope that, like me, the strength of your spiritual connection irradiates any viruses or bacterium.
Or there's always FHE at Walgreens.
Links about non-shaking of hands: