Friday, May 8, 2009

Ditch the high five. Do The Xena.

When it comes to preventing flu in the workplace, you want to do everything you possibly can. But can you ever be too cautious?

Over the past few weeks, the fear of spreading the swine flu had people stocking up on hand sanitizers and face masks, led some colleges to take hand shaking out of graduation ceremonies or canceled them all together, and shut down dozens of grade schools full of healthy kids.

Swine-flu fears seem to be simmering down, especially after health officials announced that the current strain is no more dangerous than the run-of-the-mill flu that makes its way through our workplaces and schools each year.

So, isn’t it about time to take a deep (maskless) breath and have a good laugh about all of it?

Even some of the leading news providers, including National Public Radio (NPR), think it’s about that time.

Recently NPR health correspondent Allison Aubrey and All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen illustrated the most popular workplace greetings that will keep you social and safe during a contagious illness outbreak.

Your options include:
  • The Xena - An alternative to the fist bump where you use your forearm instead. “Be like Xena, Warrior Princess.”

  • Bow Nouveau - The “tete-a-tete,” forehead-to-forehead greeting, should be replaced with a Renaissance-style bow or curtsy.

  • The Wave - Maintain a 3 to 6 food CDC-recommended distance and choose to wave instead of shaking hands during flu season.

  • Smackdown - Because there’s never been a documented case of passing the flu from foot to foot, try a variation of the foot smack rather than kissing someone on the cheek.

  • Self Hug - “Hugging yourself might seem odd at first, but surely it can catch on... maybe.”

  • And our favorite ... the Snap and Flick - Because high-fiving can be just as bad as kissing when it comes to passing on the flu virus, try this alternative:

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