'Star Trek' shields up: US lawmakers advised to use Vulcan greeting to avoid coronavirus exposure

Leonard Nimoy, the original Mr. Spock.
Leonard Nimoy, the original Mr. Spock. (Image credit: CBS Broadcasting)

As the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, lawmakers suggest another measure to prevent the spread of disease: a Vulcan greeting. 

While hand washing and limiting exposure (opens in new tab) remain ideal ways to protect yourself and others from spreading illnesses like the flu or COVID-19, lawmakers and "Star Trek" fans alike have suggested that, instead of shaking hands, using the Vulcan greeting that Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on the original series (opens in new tab) of the beloved franchise, famously devised.

At a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic caucus this morning (March 10), the coronavirus was a major topic of discussion, according to CNN (opens in new tab). The meeting included discussion of how members could best prevent the spread of the virus. 

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An attending physician at the meeting lightheartedly suggested that, instead of touching through greetings like handshakes, people could use the "live long and prosper sign," referring to the Vulcan greeting. 

This physician is not the first to suggest it, as Trek fans and health advocates have been sharing the greeting as a lighthearted but effective way to interact with others without spreading germs. 

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Chelsea Gohd
Senior Writer

Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined Space.com in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea "Foxanne" Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.