A recent study by Stanford University biology professor, Dr. Nathan Wolfe (not to be confused with my eight-year-old son, Nathan Wolf) suggests cutting out the practice of shaking hands to ward off the spread of germs. Wolfe recommends bumping elbows.
Sound far fetched? Not so fast. Savvy Patch readers surely recall how for Contagion, his movie about an airborne virus that spreads into a worldwide pandemic. The Evanston Elbow seems like a natural “outbreak”, as it were, from the movie.
Of course, the handshake’s a hard habit to break. Handshakes go way back; some historians believe they originally demonstrated a weapon-free exchange between two individuals.
And yet, how many times have you coughed into your hand, touched your eye or wiped a crumb from your lips? Don’t be embarrassed. It happens. Our hands are extremely germy extremities. The keyboards and devices you’re all using to read this article are riddled with germs originated from your hands.
Still, not everyone finds viruses troubling. Virologists make a living studying the origins and paths of viruses. Others, like the singer Björk, see viruses as objects of beauty and art (which may finally explain the swan).
All I’m saying is, Evanston’s a town on the cusp of something big here; I say, “Let’s get anti-viral with the Evanston Elbow.