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Stop shaking

By Gungahlin Al - 1 May 2009 25

We should stop shaking hands, says the Chief Minister.

Or to be fair (as he explained on CM Talkback on 666 this morning) the Prime Minister and his health experts asked those present at COAG yesterday to go forth and promulgate the message – stop shaking hands and “engage correct coughing etiquette.”

So good RA readers – how carried away with the swine flu media hysteria are you?

Would you stop shaking hands? How? As in: how does one NOT accept a proferred hand at an event or wherever without causing offence? “Sorry – you might be contagious…”

What’s Your opinion?

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25 Responses to
Stop shaking
Special G 7:31 pm 01 May 09

I have had reasons to be in a couple of pharmacies over the past couple of days and each time heard someone request facemasks. On each occasion they were sold out. I had a bit of a chuckle each time. You have more chance of getting killed thinking about swine flu whilst crossing the road.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 7:13 pm 01 May 09

Load of fuss over absolutely nothing. When we get some confirmed cases leading to death, in Canberra, then I’ll start to think about worrying.

housebound 6:23 pm 01 May 09

I read this and instantly thought of Parkinsons, OD or DTs (no ogfence to Parkinson’s sufferers, one of whom is a good friend, intended).

But no, it’s only the prospect of shaking hands with the Chief Minister and catching swine flu.

monomania 5:31 pm 01 May 09

This is Gaia’s response. “You’ve given me a fever. Coughing your carbon dioxide all over me and raising my temperature. So here’s a dose of your own medicine. You’ll be able to met your targets soon.”

Skidbladnir 4:44 pm 01 May 09

Blimey, I’m agreeing with Gungahlin Al twice in a single day.

Standard influenza has 500,000 suspected deaths in a normal year (more than 1360 people in a day, roughly one person every minute).
So far, H1N1 has had 13 confirmed (170 suspected) deaths in two months.

Yes, it will get worse as the pathogen finds new populations, and there is probably a huge amount of selection and reporting bias, as well as an inherent inaccuracy in and misreporting of information, but right now, I’m not certain the actual event lives up to the media profile.

For all the terror that the media is runnign re: WHO escalation of the Pandemic Alert Phase to Phase 5 isn’t the same as announcing that there’s a Category 5 or 6 Pandemic Severity Index pathogen in the population.

trevar 4:39 pm 01 May 09

It would be a difficult habit to break. I think we should adopt the Greek solution: left hands for dirty business, right hands for clean business…

Gungahlin Al 4:15 pm 01 May 09

Oh – on the media hysteria over the 100-odd deaths due to what the Israelis are calling Mexican because the other word shall not be spoken – Fran Kelly asked an expert on Radio National this morning “how many people die each year around the world from ‘ordinary flu’?”

“Half a million” was the answer. Kind of puts it into perspective doesn’t it?

neanderthalsis 4:00 pm 01 May 09

Washing your hands and covering your mouth when you cough stops germs spreading!!!11one11!! Holy snapping ducksh*t batman.

I love getting basic personal hygeine lessons from my civic leaders.

I’d rather hear that stockpiles of appropriate medications are available, biohazard experts are monitoring the situation and emergency measures are ready to be enacted IF by some bizarre chance there is a pandemic from our elected officials. Being told to wash your hands and not cough on people doesn’t really cut it.

We get warnings every year saying there is a bad flu going to kill us all (or at least the young, the elderly, the left handed redheads and the infirm). People die from various strains of the flu every year.

Not scared of swine flu, but I’m stockpiling food and ammunition for the 2012 zombie apocalypse.

DarkLadyWolfMother 3:49 pm 01 May 09

“Sorry, I don’t know where my hands have been”

peterh 3:44 pm 01 May 09

double post, sorry.

for the record, i won’t stop shaking hands. It is an essential part of the communication between my clients and myself, and I don’t feel the need to start snubbing my income stream.

peterh 3:43 pm 01 May 09

Thumper said :

Pig flu?


That advice is right up there with 747Kevin’s ‘wash your hands’.

if you are referring to the common practice of washing your hands after going to the loo, before a meal, etc, don’t you do this already?

Thumper 3:33 pm 01 May 09

Pig flu?


That advice is right up there with 747Kevin’s ‘wash your hands’.

chewy14 3:30 pm 01 May 09

Carry a box of antiseptic wipes with you at all times.
Then after shaking hands, produce box and clean your hands.
Makes for great first impressions.

Primal 3:25 pm 01 May 09

Wear boxing gloves.

weeziepops 3:25 pm 01 May 09

I never shake hands. Too many bad experiences with sweaty palms (not my own), limp fish hand shakes and even the odd bone-cruncher. To avoid shaking hands, I always make sure I have something to carry in to potential hand shaking situations so I can provide a vague gesture of greeting, thus meeting societal expectations while avoiding any physical contact. Never fails.

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