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Jazz hands now and stop handshakes to fight coronavirus

Over the weekend, the Italian government imposed a massive quarantine on nearly 16 million; it also closed schools and universities and suspended all sporting events. By midweek, the quarantine applied to the whole country. The government is also proposing to ban handshakes and even cheek kisses. When it comes to personal greetings, the novel coronavirus is turning social mores on their head.

In recent days other countries have followed suit. Government officials in France and Switzerland, according to The New York Times, have asked citizens to temporarily halt what’s known as “la bise,” the two-kiss greeting. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now supports greeting others with “namaste” instead of a traditional handshake. Here at home, Vice President Mike Pence was videoed deploying the “elbow bump” instead of extending his right hand.

I am trying to find light in this new darkness. Or to paraphrase Gabriel Garcia Marquez, humor in a time of plague.

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