Growing up in the West I heard stories of how the Indians thought the white man’s custom of shaking hands was hilarious. Sometimes, I was told, a group of Indians would fall all over themselves laughing upon seeing two white men shaking hands. This was memorable to all who witnessed the Indians in laughter because Indians are notoriously stoic. Laughter is a foreign concept and it takes something ridiculously funny to evoke it. It must be universally funny as well since culture largely determines what anyone finds to be funny. If you’ve ever seen a German or British comedy you know what I mean.
The flu and common cold is probably most often spread by shaking hands. Since the cold and flu viruses live in the mucus of the nose and eye and since we all touch our noses and eyes more than we realize, the transfer is straightforward.
Now we find out the Ebola virus (or is it bacteria?) also lives in that same mucus. Therefore, shaking hands is going to be a common way to get it.
Shaking hands is no longer a laughing matter.