How the world says “Hello” has changed, thanks to Coronavirus
People in this world have their own cultures influencing the way they welcome or greet others. Some shake hands, others kiss and while some do “Namaste”.
The spread of novel Coronavirus, aka Covid-19 has made the world re-think the way they say “Hello”. Man is a social animal and hence, cannot survive in isolation, the need to interact with others is in its nature. Time has come that the way these social interactions commence has to change and adapt to become more hygienic and acceptable in times of an epidemic.
The Covid-19 is a type of Coronavirus which has spread from animals to humans, scientists have not been able to identify the animal source of this virus. The World Health Organisation has made many recommendations to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus, which include regular washing of hands, using an alcohol based hand rub or soap, they are also asking people to maintain a distance of 1 metre or 3 feet from anyone who’s coughing or sneezing, and not touching sensitive areas like eyes and nose without washing hands because that’s how the virus can enter bodies and further infect new hosts.
In the Arabian countries, they have a custom of meeting people and having a nose-to-nose greeting, which has been advised against, by the UAE. In France, they have a kiss on the cheek or faire la bise, the citizens have been warned about it. In Iran a new video surfaced on the internet in which people can be seen tapping feet instead of kissing or having any other physical contact with the person to avoid any unnecessary contact which might cause the virus to spread.
The outbreak is the worst in South-East Asia, China being the epicentre of this outbreak. Though Asian countries have safer versions of greeting, in Japan and other Asian countries they take a bow to say hello, which can be in formal and informal situations. Countries like Singapore are encouraging people to wave or do an elbow-tapping gesture. In India, they have the age old tradition of saying “Namaste”, which involves pressing of both hands near one’s heart, this can also be used in formal and informal settings. This does not lead to any unnecessary and uncalled for physical contact with the other person. There have been videos being shared on social media promoting the use of “Namaste”.
It is up to us as mankind to make changes to our social behaviour to fight against Covid-19 and beat it. People need to be made aware about personal hygiene and cleanliness and should avoid going to crowded places until absolutely necessary. Staying indoors, avoiding physical contact and staying covered, taking all precautions and disinfecting our surroundings is all we can do till a vaccine is made available.