Will Americans go back to shaking hands after coronavirus?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
November 06, 2020, 7:35 PM UTC

The handshake, one of the many aspects of life erased by COVID-19, probably won’t be gone forever. 

According to a recent YouGov poll, close to half (47%) of Americans say they will shake hands again once the pandemic is over. The other half say they won’t (25%) or don’t know (28%). 

Men (58%) are more likely than women (37%) to say they’ll shake hands in a post-COVID world. There is, however, no difference between the generations: 45% of Millennials say they will revert to handshakes post-pandemic, as well as 46% of Gen Xers, and 48% of Baby Boomers. 

Americans who are worried about becoming unwell or dying as a result of COVID-19 are less likely (33%) than the general public to say they’ll go back to the social norm of handshaking.  

Along party lines, Democrats are far less likely (34%) than Republicans (65%) to say they will shake hands once the pandemic is over. 

Methodology: For the first wave, 12,375 US adults were asked “Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, do you think you will shake hands when saying hello or good-bye to someone?Interviews were conducted online July 14 – 15, 2020. For the second wave, 41,028 US adults were asked “Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, do you think you will shake hands? Interviews were conducted online October 16 – 19, 2020. Results have been weighted to be representative of the US population. 

Image: Getty