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Coronavirus: When winks and footshakes replace handshakes and hugs

People are adopting creative new ways to greet one another in a time of social distancing

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For some of us, a hug means a great deal. It can take the edge off stressful days, it can give the reassurance that all is good, it can make one feel accepted, appreciated and affectionate.

Human touch or skin-to-skin contact - even if just a pat on the back or a handshake lasting a couple of seconds - can alleviate stress and depression.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 15, 2020, with the headline When winks and footshakes replace handshakes and hugs. Subscribe