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'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 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 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. 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. 

Follow Chelsea Gohd on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Chelsea Gohd

Chelsea Gohd joined as an intern in the summer of 2018 and returned as a Staff Writer in 2019. After receiving a B.S. in Public Health, she worked as a science communicator at the American Museum of Natural History. Chelsea has written for publications including Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine, Live Science, All That is Interesting, AMNH Microbe Mondays blog, The Daily Targum and Roaring Earth. When not writing, reading or following the latest space and science discoveries, Chelsea is writing music, singing, playing guitar and performing with her band Foxanne (@foxannemusic). You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd.