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Coronavirus etiquette: How to behave in a crisis

Can you still shake hands? Is wearing a mask a sign of good manners? And is stockpiling ethically dubious? Kathy Donaghy gets to the heart of our coronavirus dilemmas

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Covered up: A pedestrian in London wears a protective face mask. Photo: PA

Covered up: A pedestrian in London wears a protective face mask. Photo: PA

PA

Covered up: A pedestrian in London wears a protective face mask. Photo: PA

Even the most mundane of our daily interactions have become infected with fears about coronavirus. Simple things like sitting on the bus beside someone coughing and spluttering with no tissue has taken on a whole new set of connotations since the outbreak of covid-19. And the outbreak is already changing how we live our lives - and how we expect others to live theirs. So just what are the new social and ethical dilemmas we face in a world obsessed with the threat of a pandemic?

The great face-mask debate

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Careful hygiene like washing hands is vitally important (stock photo)

Careful hygiene like washing hands is vitally important (stock photo)

Careful hygiene like washing hands is vitally important (stock photo)

Is that surgical mask you've taken to wearing the outward sign of a polite, concerned citizen doing everything in her power to prevent the spread of infectious disease - or is it the sign of a self-obsessed hypochondriac who is potentially depriving health workers of crucial kit?