PLEASANTON (KPIX 5) — The coronavirus outbreak has changed the way we live and how we interact with others. It’s even changing how we say “hello.”

There is a new normal when it comes to greeting people: not touching. Many are changing the way they interact, forgoing hugs and handshakes and opting for elbow bumps and even foot shakes.

Scientists from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in Singapore have come up with some “handshake alternatives” to avoid spreading COVID-19.

“By avoiding handshakes, you can lower the risk of getting infected,” explained Dr. Dale Fisher, who came up with the alternatives.

The new social etiquette amid the novel virus outbreak is to just hang back a little bit.

“You know, not doing handshakes, washing for as long as the song will last, staying three feet away,” said Shawn Aquinao. And some people said they are no longer kissing.

“I used to live in Europe with a lot of my colleagues, we used to kiss two times, so there is no more of that,” said Michelle at a nail salon in Pleasanton. She also said coronavirus has halted her swiping activity on online dating apps. “I’m not swiping currently,” she said.

Grocery store clerks are now wearing gloves when touching store items and money. And finding necessities like toilet paper and hand sanitizer on store shelves is becoming increasingly difficult.

But Judy Johnson said she’s already stocked up. “I have my hand sanitizer I will be sanitizing all of the pens. I always recommend to people to people they use their own pens so they don’t have their germs,” Johnson said.

A culture ingrained in social pleasantries is not so welcome anymore, especially if one is seen coughing or sneezing.

Even a young student named Abby said fist bumps weren’t cool anymore; it’s all about the much more distant “wave” now.

Juliette Goodrich

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