Not so long ago - though for many of us it feels like a lifetime ago - it would have seemed rude not to shake someone’s hand, hold the door for them, or even just smile in greeting. The 2020 global pandemic is changing that public etiquette.  

COVID-19 has impacted all our lives from the places we go, where and how we get to eat, and even how close we stand to one another. For us in the south, this virus has also changed those things we had so heavily instilled in us from childhood - our manners.

Long gone are the days when hugs in church, a pat on the back or even a simple handshake in the grocery store were accepted. Now they may even be frowned upon. While we were all stuck for weeks with stricter health and social guidelines, many of us probably never had the chance to consider the extent to which greetings, goodbyes and social gatherings might be altered.

With high school graduations happening this week, the events may see some guests and even students emerging from their homes for the first time in weeks, testing out their new social distancing skills.

Though it may be tempting to run up to your best friend’s aunt you haven’t seen in months and wrap your arms around her for a quick embrace, remember we’re not quite back there yet. Also, while face masks may not be required, wearing them may just be the polite thing to do, and for goodness sakes, wash your hands. That one is still the same.

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