Despite all the media attention and dozens of countries working together, Coronavirus is still not under control and it continues to infect more people worldwide. International bodies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued standard guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus. These guidelines include one important thing; not to touch your face excessively. While it may seem easy, it is extremely difficult for some people.
Touching one’s face unnecessarily is generally bad for skin, but many times it is habitual and that’s what makes it more problematic. Typically, we touch so many things every day, from doorknobs to elevator buttons, charging ports to light switches, the surface that we daily contact are countless. All of these surfaces are much likely to accommodate bacteria, fungal spores, and viruses, including the new coronavirus. Did you know that coronavirus can stay for DAYS on these surfaces?
So what happens is, when you touch these surfaces and then touch your face, habitually, unintentionally or on purpose, the virus finds an easy route to enter into your body. The fingertips act as a bridge to the nostrils, mouth, or eyes all of which act as entry points for all viruses, bacteria, and fungi to enter.
This current stats on coronavirus is alarming thus arises the need to follow the precautionary measurements as the CDC has prescribed. It includes, not to touch the face, wash hands frequently, avoid going in public or touching public surfaces, staying at home when sick and avoid meeting a sick person.
Dr. Vanessa Raabe (AP) teaches in the department of medicine at “NYU Langone Health”. She says;
“It’s a very difficult habit to break because we all do it, and oftentimes we’re not even aware we’re doing it.”
While it could be hard to stop touching your face, whether on purpose or unintentionally, there are a few things that could help. Here are some tips and tricks to stop touching your face.
Use tissue papers
While you should not be touching your face, you can use a tissue paper or a wipe on it which is safe and easy to use. Just keep a tissue pack near you at the house and keep a small pack inside your bag, whenever you go out. Whenever you feel like touching your face to rub, itch, adjust makeup, fit glasses or anything, just take out a tissue paper and use it instead of using your hand directly on face. Dispose of the tissue after using and do not ever re-use it.
Do not sneeze in your hands
Keeping tissue papers near you would also be helpful if you ever have to sneeze. But even if you are out of tissues or they are not near, sneeze into your elbow and not in your hands. Usually, people tend to cover their faces with hands while sneezing and then use these same hands for eating, touching and greeting other people which increases the risk of infection spread. Try not to infect your hands, at least not on purpose to save yourself and others from coronavirus.
Trace your triggers
Those who believe touching face is an added compulsive behavior should trace and identify their triggers. It means to find out what makes them touch their face, once this cause is identified, the touching of the face could be avoided with a strategy. For example, if someone excessively rubs eye because he finds them dry or itchy, he should use eye drops to hydrate and remove all the irritants; hence controlling the unnecessary face touching.
People who use contact lenses should avoid using them for some time and switch to the normal glasses to avoid direct contact to the eyes.
Stay focused on what you do
Many people have a habit of touching things or surfaces around while they are thinking or concentrating on something. Likewise, some people tend to touch their face too while being in some brainy task. Normally, it’s not a problem but considering the current spread of coronavirus, it is necessary to avoid all things which could possibly help in its transmission. Keep your hands busy i.e. use a stress ball, hold anything in hand or fold your hands into each other so that you don’t touch your face.
Sanitize all objects and surfaces near your hands before grabbing them, as they could also contain the virus for days. Try to sanitize your hands more frequently, and use a fruity scented sanitizer. It would help you to sense that your hands are near to your face if you ever skipped the initial tips.
Most important thing is to relax and do not panic over this situation. Stress makes everything worse and obsessive stress about what you touch is just going to put your health at risk. It attacks the immune system and the body is weakened even before the virus enters or infects them. And even if it does, the compromised immunity increases the risk of complications.
Touching the face is not something catastrophic. But in the recent events of the coronavirus outbreak, it is necessary to follow good personal hygiene and avoid touching face, for which simple hacks and tips like these would help.