Poll 06: The Flu – Will H1N1 Affect You?

by EPI Staff on October 19, 2009

In the coming weeks, will you change the way you greet people socially and in business situations due to concern over the spread of the H1N1 flu virus?

  • No. I’m not really worried and think it would be awkward to NOT shake hands. (63%, 257 Votes)
  • I haven’t decided yet. I’ll wait and see what happens. (24%, 99 Votes)
  • Yes. I’ve decided to stop shaking hands. (13%, 49 Votes)

Total Voters: 405

Is fear of H1N1 impacting your social interactions? Tell us how you are changing (or not) the way you interact with others due to concern over this illness.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie October 19, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Yes, I have stopped shaking hands. I smile and am polite about it, but having observed people, I don’t believe most are as careful about avoiding potential germ transmission as they could be. The number of people I see touching their faces in some way, for example, or who touch public doorknobs…

One issue I’ve asked the Rector at our church to address is communion. I have always dipped the Host into the chalice rather than drink directly from the chalice, but there are many who drink. This bothers me greatly, especially when so many people are sick and it’s only October. Thankfully, I’m in the choir and one of the first to receive Communion each week, but at least half a dozen mouths touch the Chalice before it comes to me.

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Patricia O'Brien October 19, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I keep hand sanitizer handy in my purse and in the car using frequently, plus wash my hands often.

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Daniel Post Senning October 20, 2009 at 7:28 am

Hi Pat,

It is great to see you on the daily!

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Renee Huggind October 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm

I carry both hand-sanitizer (the kind that does not require water) – and also antibacterial wet-wipes in my car. I use both of them on a daily basis.

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Mary Kay Enterline October 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Yes, I have stopped shaking hands. I am really appalled at the lack of common sense coming from some of our pastors. With the flu on the rise and one who was ill for a full week and still am recovering into week 3, it seems to me that pastors/ministers should be doing away with the “handshake” greeting or extending the sign of peace. Our church spends almost 5 minutes and everyone goes around the church shaking hands. Rather overdone, I’d say! It is rather amazing the surprised look on the faces of folks at church when I say, “I’m sorry, I’ve been sick and don’t want to pass it on to you.” What has happened to common sense?

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Jeni October 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm

To not shake a client’s hand could mean losing business, or setting an awkward tone with how that meeting will go. I’ll definitely be shaking hands, but like Patricia, not without my hand sanitizer close by.

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Georgia October 19, 2009 at 6:57 pm

I am not worried about shaking hands because: I carry antibacterial hand clenser, I frequently wash my hands, and I try not to put my hands in my mouth or touch my face or eyes unless I have washed my hands. If someone coughs without using a hanky or arm, I gently remind them that they should try to remember to do so.

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Cynthia Haffey October 19, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I wash my hands often…

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Poppy October 19, 2009 at 8:26 pm

I have H1N1 in my mind and am cautious but will not be refusing to shake hands with my potential customers and colleagues. That is unless I see them sneezing or coughing into their hands. I do, however, wash my own hands more frequently to ensure I don’t spread any germs unknowingly :)

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Victoria Wagner October 20, 2009 at 11:45 am

H1N1 is very much on my mind, but I also feel it rude not to shake someone’s hand when I meet them. That being said, hand sanitizer has become my #1 go to, and use it frequently, especially after touching chairs, doorknobs, handshakes, etc.

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Stacia October 20, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Leslie, don’t drink from the cup. H1N1 is just a flu. You are the only one who should refrain from drinking or dipping. Who are you to impose on anyone else.

Turn off Oprah, stay home away from every one. God forbid you get the flu. Get a flu shot and eat healthy. Do you know how many people die of the seasonal flu? More than H1N1.

I apologize if I’m sound snide but I’m so sick of all the whining over this flu.

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Antonio Attanasio October 23, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Apart from etiquette and from being rude or kind, the hard fact is that trying not to catch the swine flu is like running sideways under enemy fire–all you can attain is delaying the time you will be hit. And catching the virus after it has had the time to get well acquainted with human beings is worse than catching it when it is still uneasy about its new host. So, shaking hands with people is not just kind to them–it’s very, very kind to ourselves.

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Luann Alemao October 26, 2009 at 6:00 pm

The handshake is such a powerful connection tool. To eliminate it is to sacrifice some realtionships. It is very easy to excuse oneself after handshaking, networking and before and after meals and just use a restroom or powderoom to wash those hands.

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Sharlene October 27, 2009 at 7:38 am

I will continue to shake hands and wash my hands numerous times a day. Now that winter is here I am wearing gloves more often. This may be a good reason to go back to the day when ladys used hand gloves.

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Jessica (aka The Unemployed Mom) November 9, 2009 at 5:38 am

I carry hand sanitizer with me and use it a lot more frequently. My theory is, a door handle contains more germs than shaking a hand.

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