13 Safe Greetings To Use During COVID-19 (with GIFs)


Socializing has become a lot more difficult because of COVID-19 but that doesn’t mean that we can’t get creative with our greetings.

Have you ever had an awkward encounter with someone you know because you can’t get too close to them to say hello? Here are 13 ways to greet your friends that are COVID-19 safe.


Season 8 Episode 3 by Friends
Season 8 Episode 3, Friends. Picture by friends on Giphy.

This has become increasingly popular because it can be done from far away. Recently we have seen the likes of presidential candidate Joe Biden, Prince Charles, and many others use Namaste as a greeting.

The meaning of this action is “I bow to you” or “I honor you.” A wonderful way to share neighborly love during such a difficult time for many people.

The Elbow Bump

Elbow Bump Yes by StickerGiant
Elbow Bump. Picture by stickergiant on Giphy.

This might be considered too intimate for some, but if you are really feeling comfortable with someone, an elbow bump is a good alternative. You could do an “air elbow bump” from six feet apart as an alternative.

Foot Tap/Heel Click

Happy Grocery Store by Guava Juice
Happy Grocery Store by Guava Juice. Picture by guavajuice on Giphy.

What we mean by this is basically a high five with your foot. But if you want to do a heel click, that could work.

This is nice because it allows you to stretch out your leg for a low five. No hands or faces involved!

Air High Five

High Five Good Work by MasterChefAU
High Five. Picture by MasterChefAU on Giphy.

This one is super safe because you can do it from really far away and stay completely isolated. You could even do this through windows. It has all the energy of a regular high five without any physical contact involved.

Related Link: 13 Hilarious COVID-19 Memes for Latter-day Saints Stuck in Quarantine

Self High Five

High Five
High Five. Source: Giphy.

With this greeting, there will be no more of those awkward missed high-fives. Plus, it’s a great way to get yourself pumped up. It’s almost like a pat on the back for yourself, but with your hand. The point helps you direct this to your intended recipient.

The Classic Wave

Hai hello
Hello. Source: Giphy.

There’s nothing better than a classic wave. It is direct and identifiable for the most part. Plus, if someone waves at you and you have a mask on but don’t know who they are, chances are they may be waving to someone else.

Winks with Finger Guns

Shots fired finger guns by Hannah Bronfman
Picture by hannahbronfman on Giphy.

A true classic that we should bring back to popularity. Because it doesn’t involve seeing the bottom half of your face, this greeting is a great way to say hi to your friends in a safe, socially distanced way.

Over The Phone

Lionel Richie Hello
Lionel Richie Hello. Source: Giphy.

If you want to be really safe you could stay completely socially distanced and say hello over the phone. This is definitely the most common option among many quarantined Americans.

Whether it is on a traditional phone call or over a video call, you should call your loved ones to say hello, pandemic or not.

A Tip of The Hat

Source: Giphy.

You could go really old fashioned with a hat tip. This may require you to develop a hat collection but it might be worth it if you want to look really cool.

Related Link: Secrets to Sharing the Gospel During COVID-19

Get Fancy With It

Billy Porter Hello by MOODMAN
Billy Porter. Source: Giphy.

You could make people social distance from you with a giant hat. Say hello by opening the gates to your face. Just remember to put a mask on under those curtains.


Staring jimmy fallon
Staring jimmy fallon. Source: Giphy.

You could also just stare at the person since they can’t see the rest of your face. This may come across a little creepy though.

As far as COVID-19 greetings go, this one may be the most awkward one to use. But you can give it a shot if you want to.

Head Nod

Smug adam sandler
Adam Sandler. Source: Giphy.

The classic but subtle head nod can be done in any situation. Increase the severity of your nod depending on the situation. The head nod demonstrated above is not necessarily subtle, but it can be done less intensely.

The “Thank You” Wave

James May Flirt by DriveTribe
Picture by drivetribe on Giphy.

You know, the wave that you do when someone lets you cross the street or gives you the right of way. It’s just a polite little wave, it’s like a nod but for your hand.

No matter what the greeting, use hand sanitizer, or wash your hands when you’re done.

La Tech Health by Louisiana Tech University
La Tech Health by Louisiana Tech University. Picture by louisianatech on Giphy.

What are your favorite COVID-19 greetings? How do you say hello to your friends during this pandemic? Share in the comments. 

Zoë Holyoak is currently a BYU student, photographer, and writer. Her hobbies include long walks through the ice cream aisle at the grocery store and correcting bad grammar. She is also a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a mission for the Church in Portland, Oregon.