Doctors and their CMPA lawyers no longer shaking hands on the golf course???
It's a suggestion that most people are calling strange, but the Surgeon General's office insists avoiding handshakes is the best way to help significantly decrease the spread of germs.
Comparing it to the recent proposal for bans and taxes on tobacco, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin believes that in much the same way smoking causes cancer, handshakes increase the spread of nasty germs. "In order to end this epidemic, we need to focus on where we can prevent it and where we can see the most effect, and that's with young professionals who attend lots of meetings and interviews, where handshakes are expected," Benjamin said in a release.
The current recommendation is for everyone to cut down to three handshakes per month—with the hope that in the future, people will stop considering handshakes a good way to greet people and instead consider them a threat to their health.
Fist bumps are expected to entirely replace the traditional formal greeting by 2014.
Why fist bumps? Mainly because the knuckle area doesn't come into contact with nearly as many germs as palms or fingertips do. Fist bumps are also brief, while some handshakes can last up to ten seconds, allowing germs to spread.
Will the current generation be able to let go of what has become natural for them?
That's Benjamin's hope.
"Just like we want to make our next generation tobacco-free, we want to make the current generation handshake-free," she said. "Plus—and I think we can all agree on this—fist bumps are way cooler."
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