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The top 5 handshake alternatives

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Coronavirus outbreak: top 5 handshake alternatives

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5. Vulcan salute

The move: Hold your hand so it's parallel to your body. Separate your middle and ring fingers.

The reference: Live long and prosper! This gesture was pioneered by Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy.

How it makes you look on a scale of 1-10: 8. A top ice-breaker!

What the WHO says about it: No official advice, but it does promote gestures that involve no touching similar to this one. The body advises that respiratory viruses like the new coronavirus can be passed by shaking hands and touching the eyes, nose and mouth.

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4. Raised steeple

The move: Take both your hands, place your fingertips together and form an arch.

The reference: Kevin O'Leary makes this gesture a lot in Shark Tank, but it's perhaps best well-known as a staple of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.

How it makes you look on a scale of 1-10: 2. Introducing yourself with this will make the other person think you're quietly judging them. If that's what you're aiming for, go right ahead.

What the WHO says about it: No official advice. There's no touching so that's good, but the chance of losing friends seems quite high.

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3. V sign

The move: Hold hand parallel with body, face the palm outward, extend the ring and index finger.

The reference: Richard Nixon was well-known for the gesture, as was the 1960s peace movement.

How it makes you look on a scale of 1-10: 4. A bit awkward, and with a high risk of accidentally facing the palm inward and offending Brits. George H.W. Bush made that mistake during a presidential visit to Australia, where it's also considered rude.

What the WHO says about it: Nothing specific, but there's no physical contact!

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2. Wave

The move: Easy enough. Lift your hand, hold it so your palm is parallel to your body, and tilt left to right. Move the whole forearm for added enthusiasm.

The reference: Nothing specific, but twisting the wrist from side to side instead can make you look like royalty.

How it makes you look on a scale of 1-10: 6. Fine at a distance, but a bit awkward if you're standing next to them.

What the WHO says about it: Wave away!

1. Head nod

The move: Move your head up and down. Once down and up for the ultimate casual greeting.

The reference: Enid Blyton's Noddy is probably the most famous pro-nodding fictional character.

How it makes you look on a scale of 1-10: 9. Who doesn't love a friendly nod?

What the WHO says about it: Nod away!

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