US Vice President Mike Pence bumps elbows with Washington Governor Jay Inslee at Camp Murray in Washington state. File / AP
Gulf Today Report
Tackling the coronavirus involves elbow grease, whichever way you look at it. It also entails a lot of care and control.
Like the virus, the concomitant fear has assumed global proportions, which has drastically changed people’s attitudes towards daily habits – and social interaction.
People are making full-on efforts to become au fait with preventive measures. Contactless ‘hellos’ have become the new normal. Nationals in many countries have been urged to refrain from hugs and kisses while accosting each other. However, many have resorted to innovative methods of salutation: foot taps and – what is trendy now – elbow bumps, which would normally be commonplace in such places as a basketball court.
Everyone from high-powered political leaders and health officials has plumped for this form of greeting, the way a duck takes to water.
US Vice President Mike Pence, who was appointed by the Trump administration to take the lead on the US response to the coronavirus outbreak, set a good example of the growing trend as he arrived in Washington state to meet Governor Jay Inslee.
Dr. Dena Grayson, a physician and biochemist who studies pandemic threats, told ABC News she's a huge proponent of the inventive introductions.
"There're so many videos circulating all over the world of people doing the foot taps and elbow bumps and I think it's fantastic," she said. "I think elbow bumps are a great alternative to handshakes because you really can't do that right now."
Senator Lindsey Graham is offering elbow bumps instead of handshakes, while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is putting her hand over her heart in greeting. Senator Bill Cassidy is offering up hand sanitisers while Sen. Marco Rubio is washing his hands so often that he has "to start moisturising.”
President Donald Trump is a self-professed germaphobe with a longtime aversion for shaking hands with strangers. "One of the curses of American society is the simple act of shaking hands, and the more successful and famous one becomes the worse this terrible custom seems to get,” Trump wrote in his 1997 book, "Art of the Comeback.”
He told reporters on Wednesday, "I haven’t touched my face in weeks. I miss it.”
Make elbow room for that.
Three members of the White House coronavirus task force, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, placed themselves in quarantine after contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, another stark reminder that not even one of the nation’s most secure buildings is immune from the virus.
Epidemiologists have said faulty test kits coupled with a diagnostic strategy that initially targeted too few people allowed the disease to spread beyond US authorities' ability to detect it.
Twenty-one people onboard a cruise ship stranded off the coast of San Francisco have tested positive for the new coronavirus, Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday.
Sheikh Mohamed highlighted the importance of teachers’ influence in guiding students along the right path towards developing themselves and their ideas, especially in the early stages of their schooling.
The Indonesian leader's trip came as anger grew over the police response to a pitch invasion during which officers fired tear gas into packed stands as fans of Arema FC tried to approach players following their defeat to fierce rivals Persebaya Surabaya.
Musk, the world's richest person, proposed to Twitter late Monday he would change course and abide by his April agreement to buy the company for $54.20 per share if Twitter dropped its litigation against him.
Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX launched the next long-duration crew of the International Space Station (ISS) for Nasa on Wednesday, including a Russian cosmonaut hitching a ride with two Americans and a Japanese astronaut as part of the mission.