Corona visus, why I don’t shake hands

Why I think that in Germany hand shaking should be avoided right now

Uwe Sterr

Actual data on corona virus

COVID-19 situation in the WHO European Region


Why not shaking hands?

The corona virus is a new virus which is not very well understood at the time of writing (March 8th 2020) which on its own is a reason to be cautious.

What we know right now:

That is for me reason enough to take the situation serious. BTW, Robert Koch Institute has has a informative fact sheet on the corona virus

Example of how the virus can spread

In the paper Phase-adjusted estimation of the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 cases in Wuhan, China the spread of the virus for certain R0 values is given

An estimation of Corona cases for a range of R0 values is shown below

Italian Trulli Source

Note, the number of new infections rises exponential, potentially will this overstrain the health system.

Lowering R0 by suitable actions is crucial as can be seen below. It is up for debate if avoiding to shake hands has a big impact, but what is not disputed is that it is an easy action to take with no effort and no negative effects

Italian Trulli Source

Exponential growth and epidemics

A well made video with some math background information on what exponential growth means and how it turns to logistic growth is on available on Youtube as seen below.


So to avoid spreading the Corona virus I will not shake hands until a medical authority like the Robert Koch Institut of WHO will declare it to be safe.
I don’t know if this action really will have a positive impact, what I know for sure, it does not cause any harm.


For attribution, please cite this work as

Sterr (2020, March 8). Uwe's Blog: Corona visus, why I don't shake hands. Retrieved from

BibTeX citation

  author = {Sterr, Uwe},
  title = {Uwe's Blog: Corona visus, why I don't shake hands},
  url = {},
  year = {2020}