Our daily lives have changed significantly in the past few months. You have been spending more time at home and only going out for essentials. When you do make it to the grocery store, you’ve been wearing cloth face coverings and keeping your distance from others. The same thing goes for the dentist’s office. As much as your dental team loves you and wants to greet you with a hug or a handshake, it’s important to take precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t greet the staff. Read on to learn some creative hug alternatives to try for your next visit.
What Hug Alternatives Should I Try?
You don’t need to make contact with others in order to greet them. There have been many greetings throughout history that require little to no contact. Here are a few safe ways you can say hello to others:
- Namaste: This is a traditional Hindu greeting that is commonly used in Southeast Asian countries like India. It involves pressing the palms together with the fingers pointing upward and the thumbs close to the chest. It is often spoken with a slight bow of the head. Namaste can be used for both greeting and parting and involves no physical contact.
- Air high-five: An air five is a variation of the high-five except the hands never actually touch. This way, you never need to make physical contact with the person you are greeting.
- Elbow bump: This greeting has been very common since social distancing has been implemented. It involves bending your right arm and touching elbows with the other person. It requires limited physical contact, but your elbow is much less likely than your hand to spread germs to your face.
- Coronavirus curtsy / bow: These traditional greetings have seemed to recently fall out of fashion, but they are still used in a variety of circumstances. This includes performances and meeting with royalty. A curtsy traditionally involves a woman or a girl bending her knees while bowing her head. Bowing is done by both men and women and remains more common. This involves lowering he torso and head in the direction of the person being greeted.
What Greetings Should I Avoid?
Greetings that involve close physical contact are best avoided until we reach the end of the pandemic. These include:
- Fist bumps
- La bise (cheek kissing)
In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to do our part in limiting contact with others. One way is by using these germ-free greetings. Your dental team is looking forward to welcoming you with these hug alternatives when you arrive for your next appointment, so be sure to send some their way.
About the Author
Dr. Jasmine King has focused on providing high quality dental care for well over a decade. She founded and practices at Summer Creek Dentistry in Fort Worth, TX. During these uncertain times, she believes it’s important to take certain steps to reduce the likelihood of spreading COVID-19. One of these ways is by using creative greetings to welcome visitors to the office. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit her website or call (817) 292-7488.