The most virulent flu season in a decade is now upon us. Yet why do I then observe so many people here seemingly complacent amid a serious health crisis? Yes, do desist from automatically shaking hands, buy a bottle of hand sanitizer and use it, and get the flu vaccine—unlike the majority nationally who have declined. Especially, take care at social events like church services. At my own church of St. Benedict's in Los Osos, we regularly shake the hands of more than 50 others during fellowship on Sunday.
But recently our rector suggested a safer alternative: bowing to one another with hands crossed over the heart. I find this a touching gesture, and it's an age-old greeting depicted in medieval paintings. With such measures, we will save others from severe illnesses. Note that most of the several dozen people who have died in this county of flu-related causes have been elderly. But, of course, the person saved may be you.