1 hour ago, baldricks_turnip said:
Has that arisen because of the pandemic or was it a cultural practice prior?
Definitely pandemic. Before it was only seen in terms of discretion (doctors office, bank, post office, at the check out so no one sees your pin..) or in terms of safety (train tracks, heat..). It translates to Please, hold your distance.
I definitely still have to remind myself to take my mask and often have to stop myself from shaking hands. It’s a strange thing, because on one hand it hurts because it reminds me of normality but on the other hand I am glad. I am not willing to accept the current situation as the new normal. It’s not and at one point it will go back. I am not giving up on that.
Shaking hands is an interesting phenomenon in terms of cultural practice. It’s often seen as outdated and stiff but also extremely polite and well mannered. To me it feels as if new business acquaintances don’t get to the same level without it. The new department director is going to forget about you much faster if you just look at each other with a mask. The “new” methods never took on. The bow seemed to far away from our culture and the elbow check quickly became something mid-40+ year olds used and felt so hip and young- it never was accepted by the younger ones and then got dropped by the older ones quickly. Maybe it has also to with us in general. I don’t think our society is hip and funny or deferential. Sadly digital is just not a complete substitute. After so many months, that is definitely a realisation I and many of my colleagues, family and friends have made. Those little talk you cannot even remember you had over the course of a day are just dead. I don’t call my colleagues to talk about how strange my tea tastes today and our whole philosophing about French, British and German relations (past and present and politics and our own preferences) to tea is just a talk that won’t happen anymore. However, I am extremely grateful that I never had my hours cut and still earn my regular salary.