Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I won't shake your hand, thanks anyway

I have been reading how many diseases travel and hand shaking is a major transmitter. After all do you know where the hand has been, what it has touched and when it was last washed. I have been in ladies washrooms and see many women walk out without washing their hands.

I know one can't become paranoid and wear white gloves all the time, that would be ridiculous but there are many small ways one can limit the chance of infection.

My husband and I were talking about that this evening and we decided to not offer our hands for a shake anymore, at least if we remember, just tell a person that we are pleased to meet them but would prefer not to shake hands, if they don't like it too bad. Maybe the Japanese greeting of a respectful little bow would be more fitting these days, what do you think?

The Mayo Clinic says:
 The length of time that cold and flu viruses can survive outside the body on an environmental surface varies greatly. But the suspected range is from a few seconds up to 48 hours, depending on the specific virus and the type of surface.
Flu viruses tend to live longer on surfaces than cold viruses. Also, it is generally believed that cold and flu viruses survive for longer periods on nonporous surfaces — such as plastic, metal or wood — than they do on porous surfaces — such as fabric or paper.
Although cold and flu viruses primarily spread from person-to-person contact, they can also spread from contact with contaminated objects or surfaces. The best way to avoid becoming infected with the cold or flu virus is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


MomsJournal said...

I don't think the problem is with the hand shake. It's when you bring your hand from an infected surface, which could be a table, chair, hand, door knob, phone, and bring it to your eyes or mouth where the virus gets into your body. So it'd be better to keep your hands away from your face. Good luck trying to remember not to do that! ;-)

Cicero Sings said...

Myself, I think money is worse! I can easily wash my hands after a session of hand shaking ... but one forgets about money.

I spent time in Africa and after a few months there ... I decided North Americans were obsessive about germs.