• Morgan Fagg

The Sombre Apocalypse

That sombre/somber moment when you say "Good morning" and offer to bump elbows with your student as a Coronavirus precaution instead of a handshake.

The practice is known as the “Ebola handshake” and I think it is a fun way to communicate in a friendly way while also acknowledging the seriousness of Covid-19.


While my adult student normally shakes my hand with a warm handshake, he stood against the wall like a parent with bad news and said

“I think we should cancel the class.”


He had attended an event the previous week which hadn’t been cancelled despite numerous other events being cancelled by his company and now he has been informed that there is a suspected case from that event but it hasn’t been confirmed.


I agree we should cancel the class, of course, but I don’t think I needed to be told that in person.


Take all possible precautions, cancel events and avoid meeting people unnecessarily.


The next few weeks will probably determine the success or failure of this phase and I think people should avoid all possible encounters where we have to tell people, “I might have been in contact with people who might have contracted the novel Coronavirus.”


This is serious and people need the Blitz mentality where Londoners turned off all lights or hung black-out curtains on their windows because they didn’t want the German bombers to see them.


POWERFUL STUFF: Back in 2014 UN Ambassador Samantha Powers demonstrated the unusual handshake which limits the spread of infection by not shaking hands with colleagues.


Try the Ebola handshake with others and maybe we can spread this good habit during cold and flu season too. Hmmm, I wonder if Danger is Ambassador Powers' middle name.





Sombrío/a is spelt Sombre in British English and spelled Somber in American English.



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