This past Saturday I attended Mass for what would have been my dad’s 82nd birthday.

During the mass there’s a portion where the congregation is told to extend to each other the sign of peace.

Lo and behold to my surprise, there was no shaking of hands…just a nod over to your fellow congregant wishing either him or her peace.

Peace of mind perhaps, since I figured it must have been a response to the flu epidemic.

Are we going nuts taking precautions over the epidemic, or is this all a prudent response.

Jeff Deminski wrote a blog about the germy things one touches during any given day.

No doubt if one were to consider the list, I’m sure loads more would come to mind.

In Manhattan, a soccer club has banned the high fives players would give to each other over flu concerns.

According to this:

Widespread fears over this year’s flu epidemic has put an end to a popular practice at sporting games.

On Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency for the state of New York, as the flu epidemic rocked the nation and hospitals and urgent care centers saw huge crowds.

Perhaps that is why the Manhattan Soccer Club has banned high-fiving and hand shaking at youth soccer games.

The MSC sent the following email to parents:

There have been increasing Influenza cases this winter so we just want to remind families of some strategies for decreasing the spread of the Flu within the club.

Players should practice good hand hygiene by washing hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (eg. Purell).
Players should avoid touching their nose or mouth.
Players should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they sneeze or cough.
Players should not share drinks or snacks with each other.

If your player is sick, do not send him or her to practices or games. Keep your player home for 24 hours after there are no longer signs of a fever or other flu symptoms (cough, runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches). Keeping your sick player home will prevent other players from getting sick.
Speak to your doctor about the flu vaccine.

At this point the MSC Board and the coaching staff would recommend that players not shake/touch hands with opponents after the games. The safest thing to do is to touch elbows. The coach or manager can explain this to the other team prior to the game.

This is crazy times ten.

Precautions need to be taken to avoid passing the flu virus around...I get that!

But will a simple high five or fist pump today lead to all of us wearing masks tomorrow; and who knows what else the day after?

One’s body needs to build up an immunization to disease. Eliminating each and every source of contamination isn’t realistic.

Do you think the no high-five/hand shake rule to prevent spread of the flu is an overreaction?