By Wagner Dotto
I had a handyman come to my home the other day and the first thing he did was to extend his hand for a handshake. It was a surprise and a bit of an embarrassing moment. I hesitated extending my hand and then I apologized for not doing so. I explained that because of COVID-19 I was not shaking hands with anyone. He understood it was not something personal.
I love shaking hands. It’s a warm, friendly gesture and it takes the relationship with the person you meet to a new level.
Problem is, handshaking is one more casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. It joins a list of things we are not supposed to be doing like gathering with many people, going to stores without a mask or visiting friends and relatives.
For the time being, we need to be extra vigilant — the virus does what the virus wants to do and it’s highly contagious.
New York state — and Central New York especially — was in good shape in early August and the data shows the virus was under control. But the situation can change overnight. The last thing we want is another shutdown of the state. That would be irreparable.
We’re not out of the woods yet. As a TV commentator put it the other day, if most homes in your neighborhood are burning, it may not take too long until your own home catches fire and burns as well. The situation in states like Florida, Arizona and Texas is pretty bad and people visiting from these and other states may be bringing the virus to New York. We need to be extra careful.
At the office, we have taken several precautions — no mask is required if you’re at your workstation; however, if you move around, we require everyone to wear masks. We also have plenty of hand sanitizers in all desks and we encourage people not to gather. We don’t have a water cooler but people tend to congregate around the microwave and toaster oven — we’re trying to avoid that.
It’s important to follow what scientists tell us to do — no large gatherings, wear a mask and keep at least 6 feet away from other people whenever possible. If we listened to them early on, we’d probably not be in this chaotic situation we are in right now. Or at least, things would not be so bad.
This issue of Oswego County Business explores several COVID-19 related topics, including handshaking and how the area has been affected by the virus. It’s a scary thing, but if we lay low for a while this will be in the past.
Wagner Dotto is the publisher of Oswego County Business Magazine.