How to use proper etiquette during COVID-19


As we continue to persevere through this pandemic it’s important not only to stay safe, but also to use the proper etiquette as we navigate new norms.

International Etiquette and Culture Expert Sharon Schweitzer says, “Ambiguity makes people feel uncomfortable and things right now are extremely ambiguous.”

Like Schweitzer said, we don’t know what will happen next but we can still use our manners during COVID-19. She gave KX News some tips.

Tip Number 1: Asking for 6 feet or more of space

In the U.S., people tend to be very direct but you can still be polite about it.

Schweitzer says, “You want to let them know that by saying ‘excuse me– me and my family are taking the social distancing seriously–so for now I’m going to back up or I’m going to ask you to step away because we don’t want to intrude on the safety or health.”

Tip Number 2: Petting someone else’s dog

It’s natural for us to want to approach furry friends but take precaution and perhaps say something like…

“Why don’t we catch with our dogs after the uncertain time passes–take care and i’m saving some extra care and petting for your dog when I see you next time,” says Schweitzer.

Tip Number 3: Worry about no one but yourself when it comes to wearing a mask

“When we were trained to be etiquette or cultural consultants we were told to never correct someone else’s manners unless you were being paid to do so,” says Schweitzer. “So we don’t want to go up to someone else and say excuse me you need to put your mask on because we are not the authorities and we are not being paid to tell someone else to do that.”

Tip Number 4: Tipping your delivery driver

Schweitzer says, “If you can leave the tip on the credit card–if not put a stack of white envelopes next to the front door and you can leave the tip in the white envelope. Mark thank you and put the name of the delivery service on it and its a contact less tip.”

Some other tips include:

Changing your RSVP from yes to no.

Still send a note or message saying you won’t be attending due to the coronavirus.


The CDC recommends germ-free gestures. So do something like a nod, smile, bow, wave, or a verbal exchange.  

And aside from these tips, Schweitzer says, “I think one of the best things we can do right now– during this COVID-19 and this uncertain time is to be kind to each other and act with integrity. Because everyone is going through this time and all we can do is be polite.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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