Please Don't Shake My Hand!

It's flu season - stay home!

Please Don’t Shake My Hand!

Have you
noticed the number of people with the flu, or flu symptoms or an upper
respiratory cough?  It is the time of
year when America succumbs to the illness bug and millions of people will be
coughing and sputtering and sneezing. 
Some people who have had a flu shot may be immune from all this but some
who have had the shot may still fall victim – go figure!

disturbs me though is that we still practice an arcane practice at this time of
the year in some church services which promotes the passing of these diseases
unto unsuspecting parishioners. In the Catholic Church for instance, we have
what is referred to as the “kiss of peace” also known as Pax which is the
mutual greeting of the faithful during Mass as a sign of their union with
Christ.  Some people merely shake hands
while others engage in hugging and kissing. 
While I understand the significance of the act I think that during flu
season this practice should be abandoned! 
How about a nice smile to convey one’s feelings to others?  Currently I am coming out of the throes of a
severe cold and an upper respiratory cough. 
During that time I did not engage in any handshakes while at church.  Heck, I barely left the house.  So I had the courtesy to not inflict my disease
on others and frankly I expect the same of others if they are sick!

In addition
what also disturbs me is that the Eucharistic ministers at Mass who dispense
communion have shaken hands with others and now are giving me a wafer that I
will digest hopefully not containing any viral ingredients.  If I sound like a germaphobe, so be it!

So here’s
my admonition:

          + if you are coughing and sputtering
and either have the flu or flu symptoms, stay home!

          + if you decide to attend church
services and are sick, consider sitting in the back rows away from everyone.  Candidly, I think the Good Lord will give you
a pass during your illness so once again, stay home!

          + if you go to work with these
symptoms don’t expect anyone to greet you with a smile

          + and if you encounter me at church
for the next several months don’t expect me to shake your hand.  Just wait for my engaging smile!

Bill Kalmar




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