Some trivia from the Ebola outbreak in 1995:
Outbreaks and the news they create also give the public a chance to see culture being created and transmitted because people invent behaviours and management strategies when they encounter new diseases. One small example of this occurred during the early days of the Ebola virus outbreak in Kitwit, Uganda. Villagers who were deathly afraid of contamination began to stop shaking hands and to start touching elbows in greeting, a gesture that became known as the ‘Kitwit handshake’… Shaking hands in greeting became briefly supplanted by touching elbows as a polite way to greet one another without passing the pathogen” (96).— In Epidemiology and Culture by James A. Trostle (2005)
I thought I’d share this because of the behaviours manifested in:
- The public responses thus far – boomer-tips, panic-buying after the raising of the DORSCON risk, the response to the panic-buying itself, etc.; and
- Me, because of my own responses to boomer-tips and hand-shaking.