Timely History: Dexiosis

With COVID-19 running rampant and people being even more cognizant of spreading germs, many normal conventions have gone out the window. Some people have even questioned the fate of one of the oldest traditions in humanity: dexiosis. You know it as the handshake. Did you know you spread more germs to someone through a handshake than by making out? Surely the handshake must go away. After all, it hasn’t been around that long, right?  

Well buckle up. The handshake has been around since at least the 5th century BC. Remember, the “BC” means “Before Christ.” The handshake is older than Jesus. We know from early art on various items that the handshake is captured during this time period and may have even originated earlier than that. 

The main purpose of the handshake was most likely to check for concealed weapons when meeting someone. It began by actually grabbing each other’s forearm to do the check. Scholars believe the up and down motion came about during Medieval times in order to shake loose any hidden weapons. 

Will COVID-19 kill the handshake? If the bubonic plague, flu, typhoid, smallpox, typhus, and the measles couldn’t then I don’t think the chances are good.  

I may try the footshake for a while though. 

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