Pandemic Politeness

Refusing a handshake was once considered rude—today, offering one may be ultimate faux pas.
But COVID-era social protocols are still new and awkward, and etiquette experts are here to help.  

  • Concerned about a potential incoming hug? Stay 6 feet apart. “That’s a long way for someone to lunge at you,” says David Coggins, author of “Men and Manners.”
  • Struggle with in-the-moment decisions? Confirm protocols in advance. 
  • Crucially: tip better. Workers are putting themselves at risk to keep services going, so for those who can afford it: “tip to the point of pain,” Jodi Smith, president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting.


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