A norovirus scare has caused Olympic hockey players in South Korea to be told that they shouldn’t shake hands after games anymore.
The Associated Press reported the following:
Officials have told players to fist-bump each other rather than shaking hands to prevent transmission of norovirus, which is highly contagious. U.S. defenseman James Wisniewski’s 62-year-old father tested positive for norovirus last week and is one of 49 of 283 confirmed Olympic cases still in quarantine.
That’s why players are taking precautions by fist-bumping instead of shaking hands. It’s particularly important for the Russian team because it’s customary for them to shake hands with everyone each day.
I don’t like this. No, I don’t like this at all.
The handshake lines are one of the best parts about hockey. It’s a timeless tradition that teams participate in after every game. It reminds us that no matter how violent it gets on the ice that it’s all over the moment the clock hits zero.
I hate to suggest this idea, but perhaps we should just risk it. After all, who are we as hockey players and fans if we’re not willing to shake hands over a virus. Seems a bit much and against the tough guy brand that hockey has built for itself over a lifetime.
You know how you intimidate the other guys? You stand on the ice and shake the hand of every single person on the other team knowing fully well that it might get you sick. That’s how you send a message that you’re the alpha dogs in any fight. Given the fact that the USA is currently 1-2, I think they could use just about anything to send a message.
Get it done.