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Credit: CBS Broadcasting

Government officials suggest using Spock's Vulcan greeting due to coronavirus

Contributed by
Mar 11, 2020, 2:57 PM EDT

In the midst of mounting dangers over the spread of Coronavirus, large event gatherings such as Seattle's Emerald City Comic Con, E3, and the Geneva Auto Show have been canceled or postponed, with many more to follow; simple precautionary measures such as hand sanitizers and avoiding exposure to those afflicted are of paramount concern. One new suggestion by politicians has a particularly geeky touch — and it involves the iconic greeting offered by Vulcans with a healthful hope attached.

As reported by CNN, during a closed-door assembly of the House Democratic caucus on Monday, lawmakers (to the delight of Trekkies worldwide) suggested employing the classic Vulcan salute used by Leonard Nimoy's Spock character on the original Star Trek TV series instead of the traditional handshake greeting to help contain infection.

The sci-fi-themed idea was casually presented by a physician attending the Capitol Hill meeting, who delivered the suggestion of dispensing with contact via the shaking of hands and instead flashing the "live long and prosper" salutation. He also commented that this method might be difficult for himself, as he's unable to separate his fingers to form the correct right-handed gesture.

Credit: CBS Broadcasting

In addition to the novel idea of halting hand-to-hand personal greetings and taking Spock's lead, House Democratic caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries advised all Americans to "aggressively wash your hands, multiple times a day, for at least 20 seconds. When hand washing is not available, use hand sanitizer.  We are emphasizing to everyone that it is important if you are feeling ill, or as a general practice, to maximize social distancing and minimize unnecessary social contact so as to mitigate collectively transmitting the virus."

Leonard Nimoy created the famous Vulcan salute for his co-starring role in Star Trek: The Original Series, which ran on the NBC Network from 1966 to 1969.  He claimed it was inspired by a profound gesture that he observed during a Jewish religious service when he was a child. This ritual was performed by Jewish priests, who delivered the blessing with both hands to form the Hebrew letter shin, which represents the word Shaddai or another name for God.

Will you start flashing the Vulcan salute during this medical crisis and channel the spirit of Spock?