Do This Instead of Shaking Hands

Barry Moline
2 min readMar 6, 2020


Recently I showed up a few minutes late to a luncheon with about 20 colleagues. The two hosts got up to give me a warm greeting, with a full-on handshake. Immediately we looked at each other in horror; we shouldn’t be doing this! Coronavirus! But how the heck should we be greeting each other?

Coronavirus is upon us. It’s serious and in some cases, it can be deadly. And it’s driving everyone crazy.

Suddenly everyone is washing their hands, which is what they should be doing anyway. 21 seconds. Sing Happy Birthday twice while washing. Hand sanitizer has mostly sold out, and is being resold at a price-gouging price of $20 a bottle. I couldn’t find any hand wipes at the drug store, but was able to score some “Dude Wipes” at a reasonable price online. Whew!

No matter what kind of cold, cough or flu you’re trying to avoid, good hygiene is always important. Nevertheless, at the luncheon we chatted about other types of greetings we could employ. Here’s what we came up with:

  • Wave
  • Give a thumbs up
  • Nod and smile
  • Bow
  • Curtsy (hey, no judging, we were brainstorming)
  • Elbow bump
  • Toe tap (kind of a footsie thing)

So that’s our list. I returned to the office and made a nice sign in PowerPoint, with an international NO symbol over two hands shaking. I put them all around the office, and when the Dude Wipes came in, I put those out too. We’re ready.

Let’s share some ideas. What are you doing to greet colleagues that will reduce the spread of the Coronavirus?


Barry Moline

Have a work, life or communications question for Barry? Contact Barry and he’ll put it in his blogging queue. You can send him a note to learn about Barry’s group speaking options as well.



Barry Moline

Barry Moline is a 25+ year CEO. He wrote a book, Connect!, on how to build great teams. He also speaks regularly on Teamwork and Leadership.