WHO (World Health Organisation) chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, recommends avoiding the elbow bump when greeting people and suggests taking your hand to your heart instead.
Coronavirus killed the handshake and the hug, and in countries like Spain, cheek kissing, replacing the social greeting with the elbow bump, sometimes called the ‘Wuhan shake,’ or the foot tap.
- COVID-19 outbreaks of a social origin appear in more popular expat towns on Spain’s Costa Blanca.
- 40% of COVID-19 outbreaks in Spain originate from family reunions
The hands-free gesture started early in the year as a new novel greeting to avoid the spread of coronavirus, it also took over high fives, fist bumps, back pats, shoulder squeezes and all of the little points of contact people often make when standing closer than two metres apart.
However, the director of WHO now says that the elbow bump is not safe and advises against touching at all.
The doctor retweeted the recommendation this Sunday.
The #WHO advises against the elbow bump: the best thing is to take your hand to your heart. The director of the WHO,
The reason for this is that the safety distance is not maintained and the virus can be transmitted through the skin.
“When greeting people, it is better to avoid bumping into the elbow because you are less than a metre away from the other person. I like to put my hand on my heart to greet people these days,” advised Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
This is one of the recommendations he offered among others like washing your hands with soap frequently and carefully or staying at home if you are sick.
For countries like Spain, to greet friends and acquaintances by kissing is considered part of the essence of the Spanish and Mediterranean identity.
But the coronavirus pandemic has put an abrupt end to such rituals.
Though for some, changes can be difficult, especially in Spanish and Mediterranean cultures where the tradition of greeting someone with kisses dates back to first Greek and then Roman times.