The only way to prevent contracting COVID-19 – Covid – Coronavirus is the absence of your body from the presence of the viruses. The primary source of those viruses is human beings with the disease, and the more contact you have with a person with Covid the greater your chances of contracting it. Thus it is people you are familiar with that are the most likely sources of your infection with the Coronavirus.
What to do?
Today I was involved with a couple of different groups of people for more than a few minutes. A discussion group with eighteen people concentrating on life problems, a writing group with five people, in a room for an hour with eight students studying, six personal conversations that lasted more than five minutes, and walking in public passing about twenty people. In each of the conversations, I talked about the Covid problems we are all about to face. Only one of my friends has an official capacity in the coming pandemic, and she’s now in Africa and I haven’t seen her in a year.
Thus, my exposure to this new disease appears to be nonexistent at the moment. However, there is a noticeable worry here in our remote little city of Bend, Oregon, and that was visible in the Costco parking lot. It was totally packed with people stocking up on essentials when I drove by. I mention these personal details because they are probably typical of those being experienced everywhere in the world. But my response is probably not typical. I am trying to find ways of helping the public to cope with this Covid disease.
Here in Bend, some people have chosen to move from a simple handshake for a greeting to a body hug, and that has grown in popularity for the last decade. During the Ebola crisis of 2014, I promoted the Ebola elbow bump as a greeting amongst my friends as a friendly way of making contact without the hand contact. My idea was to slow the transmission of germs between our hands. The handshake becomes a disease transfer by touching our nose, eyes, and mouth with our hands after shaking potentially infected hands. We never touch those personal areas with our elbows, so the Ebola elbow became a form of greeting with my friends, and we always laughed when we did this greeting. But something more was needed for the COVID-19 – Covid – Coronavirus.
Here is The survival kit #5 – The Covid salute
- A gesture to communicate familiarity with the person.
- An awareness of the contact transmission of Covid disease.
- A friendly warning to maintain a bit of physical separation.
- An awareness of the contact transmission of the disease.
- A gesture that solicits a similar counter gesture implying friendliness.
- An easy to remember gesture that will be used by others.
- A gesture that can be learned and responsibly used by everyone.
The Covid Salute
Hold the back of your spread, wide open right hand near your forehead with the palm facing out toward the person you are about to greet. Smile and say your typical greeting while looking directly into their eyes, and when they acknowledge you, move your hand smoothly toward them and slightly upward so you can always maintain eye contact. Do this gesture in a way that encourages them to mirror the Covid Salute back toward you.
Do not physically shake hands or otherwise touch the person. The point is to maintain good relations with your friends but without physical contact.
Whatever group chooses to use the Covid salute will lower the incidence of disease among their friends.