NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

A touching greeting, with less contact

[MetroCreative Image]
[MetroCreative Image]

QUESTION: Since we are going to have to be more creative when meeting people (the handshake and social kissing, and maybe the high five, are out for right now), are there other ways to we can think of to acknowledge introductions?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: This is new territory for all of us! My son blows lots of kisses and does lots of waving. Other cultures touch their heart when meet someone or even bowing. For now, those are some great ways to do what you feel is best for you.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: I believe this is something that will evolve over time, as we figure things out. People are definitely getting creative with ways to connect with each other virtually and through social distancing, and it’s been neat to see how much effort everyone has made to come together (figuratively) even though it’s hard. I miss hugs and close contact with friends — that kind of human interaction matters, and I hope we can return to them soon. For now, I have occasionally jokingly done the elbow bump with friends as if to shrug that things have come to this. An elbow bump is part silly and a part way to acknowledge the other person with minimal physical connection. It is nice to be able to hug my children as they live with me.

I know we’re all hopeful that we can kiss this easily transmittable virus good-bye soon so we can return to normal and close human contact and connectedness. I do keep reading that the handshake may be a thing of the past, but who knows what we’ll get comfortable with again when there’s a vaccine or herd immunity? In the meantime, please wear your masks in crowds to protect others and to provide you with some protection, too, keep distancing, wash your hands, and stay well, everyone. I would hate to see us erase any progress we have made in slowing the spread because we’re all getting complacent and too close too soon.

HELEN’S ANSWER: We are certainly missing our hugs when we see our family members and friends. And we hope to return to handshakes, hugs, and kisses soon. There is nothing like human contact. For now, a verbal hello, nod, a hand over the heart, or waving one, or both, hands will have to do. It is hard to remember not to hug. Look for the smiling eyes if there is a mask in place. I think elbow bumps are awkward.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Brandon Bixler, Commercial Loan Officer, NBC Oklahoma: COVID-19 has presented many challenges including how to interact with family, friends and co-workers.

Many of the creative ways to acknowledge others includes doing an elbow high five, an air high five and/or an air hug.

My friends have included doing foot shakes, which can be more tricky than they seem. Since this epidemic, I have continued to operate in my normal place of business while the lobby has remained closed. Interactions with customers have consisted of smiling and an acknowledgement we will shake hands in the future when this epidemic passes. One other positive note is many businesses learned to operate in new ways when they were forced to temporarily close their doors and lobbies. A little bit of ingenuity never hurt anyone.

Callie Athey is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is 40-plus, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email