Hugging Is Less Risky Than Handshaking, Says A Virologist

Don’t want the bug? Give a hug!

A full-body embrace is safer than shaking hands when it comes to potentially getting or giving COVID-19.


As we all emerge from months of lockdown and isolation, people will need to display affection to each other.  As we start to re-socialize, one doctor says,  “it’s best to hug and not shake hands”.


Dr.  Marc Van Ranst, a Belgian virologist, says handshaking allows hands to “come into contact with each other and with the environment and increase the chance of the spread”.


While the doc says hugging is safer at this point, this is not the time to go on a hugging spree.  “Keep the hug for the people you have an affinity with,” says Dr. Ranst. 


If you’re not into hugs, most doctors would suggest that the “elbow bump” remains the safest way to greet someone.