Politely Avoiding Handshakes During Covid

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

My high school son was meeting an adult the other day, and the person extended their hand to shake his. He told me he did not want to shake the person’s hand (because of Covid-19), but did not know what to do. As a younger person, it is hard to tell someone in authority, or maybe that you are trying to impress, that you do not want to shake their hand. What is a polite way to handle this?


Dear L.A.,

This is a tough situation because he is a younger person. I would tell him to next time be prepared for a hand shake at any time. Next time if possible, before the person extends his hand, he could say, “Nice to meet you Mr. X. I would shake your hand, but I know we are not supposed to right now.” This way the person will be impressed that not only does he know good manners, but is mature enough to address an important social issue.