Usually when you greet someone you may hug, shake their hand, or even kiss them on the cheek. However, since the COVID-19 outbreak has occurred, these forms of greetings have been replaced with elbow bumps, head nods, peace signs, and air hugs with the practice of social distancing in full effect. While many long for the days when these interactions will be normal again, experts say we may be facing “new norms” once the virus begins to die down.
During a Wall Street Journal podcast, National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease (NIAID) director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that he does not believe people “should ever shake hands again”. The doctor believes that no longer shaking hands could be a good prevention method to not only stop the current novel virus but also decrease the number of influenza cases that appear from year to year.
Today, if you go outside, you may see people wearing gloves and face masks, to protect themselves from becoming infected and slow the spread if you are carrying the disease but happen to have no symptoms. While we all are hoping for a day where we will no longer have to take these precautions, the truth is, our lives will probably never be the same even after this virus recedes.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to get back to free-flying lack of attention to what transmissibility of infections are. I think that people are going to be careful,” says Fauci. The doctor recommends that even when shelter in place and stay at home methods are no longer in place and there is a lax on social distancing, people should still take safety measures.
As the battle against COVID-19 continues, some may wonder what life after the virus looks like. With businesses shut down, school, and church closures, it may almost feel as if you are walking on eggshells trying to get back to the life you once had before the virus hit.
“When you gradually come back, you don’t jump into it with both feet,” said Fauci on the podcast, The Journal, “You say, what are the things you could still do and still approach normal? One of them is absolute compulsive hand-washing.”
As we continue to fight day by day and continue to practice social distancing and staying at home, we must always continue to have hope. Yes, our lives may not be the same as before, but like they say some change is good. If these are measures we have to take to save lives and stop the spread of this virus (and other viruses), these practices may become our “new norms”.
At the end of April, once the 30 day extension has been completed Dr. Fauci says he is hopeful “that we will start to see the light at the end of the tunnel where we can say we’re pretty confident that we can gradually start approaching some degree of normality.”
He is not alone with many hoping the same as well.