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“A Lasting Impression”

Etiquette Concerning Covid-19

The novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc on just about every part of society. We are many months into the new normal in the age of the Covid-19, and it’s getting more complicated. Just as many of us are getting used to being socially distant, staying at home and increasing hand-washing life is not as it used to be, and it’s inconsistent across the nation. These new social measures can feel incredibly awkward and at times impolite, but you are not alone in feeling that way about them. Everyone is learning and figuring this out as we go.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to minding your manners in the COVID-19 era:

  1. Wearing Masks   

    • Masks are a simple but critical tactic in slowing the spread of the virus, so we must wear masks to protect ourselves and others. Facial cues are still important Smiling and using your eyes and hands to gesture will be the way to connect while wearing masks.
    • Speaking up is important as masks, unfortunately, also muffle the sound of our voice. If you don’t, the other person will often lean in to hear you, and then you end up stepping back to recreate some space. 

  1. Greetings – Two contactless greetings:  

    • “The grasp and greet” — clasping your hands together and putting them over your heart as you approach someone. 

    • The “stop, drop and nod” — standing still, dropping your hands and clasp them in front of you (so you’re not tempted toimage2 reach out for a handshake), then nodding to say hello.   

Perfect your waves (you know your “professional wave,” your “zoom-meeting wave,” your “I-love-you-Grandma wave,” your “I-haven’t-seen-you-and-I’m-trying-so-hard-not-to-hug-you wave”) and use your tone of voice to match the occasion.

  1. Flow of Traffic

While following the arrows and directions through stores is always important, it is not worth getting into an altercation over. Either pass, doing what you can keep your distance, or go back the other way if the aisle is not crowded. Do not have a stand-down when there are other safe options.

  1. Speak Up

How do you speak up when something is wrong or bothering you? It is not an easy thing to do. You can never predict someone else’s reaction, especially that of a stranger. Seek the help of someone in charge if the scenario provides such a person. A manager, usher, flight attendant, host, or whoever is in charge can have the authority to help you and ensure that you aren’t dealing with someone alone. That being said, you do not do this as a way to punish someone else. It is to make sure a concern is raised, or that help or safety can be achieved.

Other phrases that can be used when out and about to manage distancing:

    • Excuse me; the line starts back there; everyone’s just distanced.(while stepping back). Sorry, I’m trying to keep 6 feet away.
    • Excuse me. I was next.
    • I’ll wait and catch the next elevator.
    • After you, please. (said genuinely)
    • Do you mind giving us just a little bit more space please, (hopefully followed by a: thank you so much)
    • A little space, please.

  1. Be Compassionate

I cannot emphasize this enough right now. These are extraordinary times, and there are so many ways this virus is impacting all of us, especially when it comes to how we are mentally handling the longevity of this pandemic. 

There are many ways to connect to help us through this crisis together, but loneliness and anxiety are still huge concerns. Reaching out to one another, being patient and kind with each other, listening to one another, respecting one another and helping those in need. These are the kinds of attitudes and actions that will carry us through. They often cost us nothing, and yet they can make an impactful difference.

The Covid-19 pandemic does not mean good manners have gone by the wayside. Instead, there are safer ways of showing respect for one another and be the best version of ourselves.

ET 7

Please and Thank you