Handshakes Are Disgusting

Business is dirty; you don't have to be. A practical video guide to the professional fist bump.

This episode of If Our Bodies Could Talk is a video companion to the recent, highly-polarizing, love-and-hate-mail-generating Fist Bump Manifesto—in which I suggested that healthcare professionals not to go around touching one another's hands. Further, that no one should, ever. The CDC estimates that "up to 80% of infections are transmitted by hands." It would be more sanitary to intertwine almost any other part of our bodies, apart from our lips or genitals.

There are lots of ways to show respect and experience human contact, and to do that while reappropriating a gesture that's still misunderstood as an unfortunate homage to the patriarchy. So please share with colleagues, superiors, inferiors, and departments of public and private health, ideally as a company-wide memo on mandatory policy. Sick days are bad business, and inelegant fist bumping is bad life.

Watch:

James Hamblin, MD, is a senior editor at The Atlantic. He writes the health column for the monthly magazine and hosts the video series If Our Bodies Could Talk.

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