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Recovery Starts with Hello

Well Hello!  Nice to have you back for another blog…  I’d give you a big hug but I’m socially distancing and I guess that means our handshake is out, too. Some believe that the traditional way of greeting one another will never return so I guess I’ll give you my best jazz hands for now.

I think we would all agree that the last two months have been hard ones. For most of us, our work lives have changed, our parenting, friendships, and relationships have changed. Financially some of us are doing okay and others not so well. We’ve had to rethink a lot of our daily habits and instincts.  

Take for example the simple act of saying “hello…” On a normal day some people you greet with a smile, some with a hug, maybe others get a fist bump (for you germaphobes fist bumps transmit 90% fewer bacteria than shaking hands).

two women standing by the door

Photo by mentatdgt on

As we crawl out of a post quarantined world where we constantly have to think about every interaction so it doesn’t endanger our health, what does something as simple as greeting another human being look like?

For starters, we’re probably wearing a mask that complicates even the simplest of day-to-day communication. Consider, for example, a hard of hearing person who is used to reading lips to get through the day, now a simple “hello” is hidden behind a facemask.  

In a pre-Covid-19 world, greeting another human being looked different depending on which country you are in. Some countries have Covid-19 appropriate greetings while other countries have what would now be considered dangerous practices. Performing the Wai in Thailand (palms together at your chest with bowed head touching chin and forehead) is totally acceptable but the kisses on each cheek done in France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal is definitely out.  


Photo:  Beeld Bij Temple in Thailand (foto Wouter Hagens), wiki-media

Clapping in greeting like the Shona from Southern Africa is perfect in a Covid-19 world but rubbing noses like the Bedouin would be out. We may want to adopt the Micronesian way of raising eyebrows to acknowledge our fellow human beings (great if we’ve got a face mask on) rather than performing the Hongi (placing your nose and forehead against another) as the Maori tribal leaders do.

We should probably trade in the fist bumps and thumb squeezing (Zambia) for shaking fists and shouting “Wooshay” as some in the country Niger do.

What does all this mean? That we are all truly in this together and it starts with something as simple as a hello. We will get through this, life may look different when we come out on the other side but we are learning more than we ever have about ourselves and … well, the world. As Gandhi says “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

If you have to give mom a socially distant hug this year for Mother’s Day why not wrap her in something special… All robes are 20% off for a limited time!

Deb Fries is a freelance writer and designer and worked at Julianna Rae in graphics and customer service, she now writes for the blog and feels glamorous participating in ZOOM meetings wearing her favorite Heavenly Spa Robe in Shale