The health crisis we are all going through inevitably impacts our social lives. As the holiday period officially got extended, many of us will stay home and reduce contact with the outside world.
Eventually, when work will start again, we will step out of our homes and get back to « normal » life. Here are a few social etiquette tips to help you go through the virus season in a both healthy and mannerly way !
When eating with others
When sharing dishes with others, avoid using your own chopsticks or cutlery to grab food from the common dish plate. It’s healthier to use serving utensils to serve food into your individual plate or bowl first.
If you have a runny nose while eating, never blow your nose at the table. Not only it is disrespectul to others, but there is also a high chance to spread germs around. Excuse yourself, go to the bathroom and wash your hands before getting back.
When working at the office
In business, some physical contacts are difficult to avoid. For example, handshakes are usually awkward to decline. If a customer you previously saw coughing or sneezing extends his hand to you, what should you do ?
The first option is to decline. Politely smile and say « Forgive me, I can’tshake hands, but I’m glad to meet you ». But what if the person is too important to refuse ? Accept it with a smile and make sure to keep your hands away from your face, until you can discretely escape to the washroom to remove all germs.
Reversely, if you are not feeling well, you should say it to the person extending the hand, so that he or she can keep distance. You will be making everyone a favor. Instead, you could bow.
Is your seat neighbor sick and not considerate about others when coughing ? Stay friendly and show compassion : « It must not be easy to travel while you’re sick, but would you mind covering your mouth when you cough ? »
If you feel uncomfortable addressing the issue directly, a subtle trick would be to offer a tissue or hand sanitizer to the person. It is a nice gesture and will prompt the person to be more careful about others.
Reversely, if you sneeze or cough, always remember to cover your face and try to turn away from the people next to you. They will appreciate your efforts.
During this viral outbreak period, it is important not to live in unnecessary fear and to remain civilized human beings.
Take this chance to spend more time at home, to appreciate good wine, to listen to music and… to read more Hedonia articles !
Stay strong and healthy. Spring is coming and soon we will gather again without the slightest concern ✨