One of the recommendations for staying was to refrain from physical contact as we greet people, handshakes, hugs, kisses. It seems that at least 10% of Americans have taken that advice.
ATLANTA (AP) — Thanks to swine flu, there’s a little less hugging and kissing in the United States.
About one in 10 Americans have stopped hugging and kissing close friends or relatives because of concerns about swine flu, according to a survey released Friday. About the same number have stopped shaking hands.
Health officials have emphasized other measures to prevent spread of the virus, like washing hands and using hand sanitizers. The survey found about two-thirds of Americans are taking such steps.
“This outbreak has permeated a lot of American life,” said Robert Blendon, the Harvard School of Public Health researcher who led the polling.
The telephone survey also found about six in 10 Americans are not currently worried that they or someone in their immediate family will get sick from the virus in the next year. The level of concern has been declining, Blendon said.
I am not much of one to hug or kiss folk beyond my husband; however, in my , professional life the ubiquitous handshake is nearly inescapable. I “arm” myself as well as is socially acceptable, with hand sanitizer prominently on my desk and squirreled away in my purse for just those inescapable moments of social etiquette.
I remember reading during the earlier considerations of a pandemic of H5N1 that we, as a society, might wish to consider the Japanese bow as a form of formal greeting. I found that an excellent suggestion, and when I believe I can “get away” with it, a smile and a polite bob of my head is what I proffer.