Why is it hard not to touch your face?


While the number of positive coronavirus cases rapidly increases every single day, there are still Filipinos who refuse to follow basic disease prevention protocols. Whether the advisory is from the government or health professionals, a number of Filipinos continue to disregard responsibility for their actions.


Other countries believe that prevention is better than cure and we try to follow this belief. To prevent the virus from spreading, our health professionals continue to recommend and remind us to stop ourselves from touching our faces. This might be an easy thing to say but it sure is hard to follow. Touching the face is collectively a favorite hobby most of us are guilty of and is an unconscious action by many.

One study found out that, on an average scale, people touch their faces 23 TIMES IN AN HOUR. It is almost impossible for us not to reach our faces. However, public advisories are suggesting us to keep our hands away from our faces as often as we could.


Why can’t we Filipinos stop touching our faces?

Like our everyday habits, constant contact with our faces starts at a young age and develops over time. One of the main reasons why we can’t seem to stop ourselves from touching our faces is when we are in a stressful situation. Studies show that touching our faces is at times related to stress.


Given the kind of situation our country faces at the moment, most of us are stressed for a number of reasons. The enhanced community quarantine makes it harder for Filipinos to be financially secured. Most companies have temporarily suspended employees from coming to the office due to government mandates. A lot of people are worried about how they will be able to provide the basic needs of their families because they lost their jobs.

As we prepare ourselves for our country’s economic shift, the most difficult challenge for the government right now is raising public awareness. They are having a hard time teaching citizens the importance of washing their hands frequently and refraining from touching facial features —eyes, nose, and mouth.


What are the safest ways to touch our faces?

If we can’t refrain ourselves from touching our faces, there are ways to lower your chances of getting an infectious disease from face contacts. According to an infectious disease specialist in Gainesville, Florida, Dr. Dawn Mueni Becker stated that “with poor hand hygiene, it is easy for people to acquire infections.” Dr. Becker added that “it can be beneficial to have a tissue close to you everywhere you go. It is better to use tissues to wipe off dirt in your face rather than to use your bare hands.”


The Department of Health is continuously reminding the Filipino people to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. There are several social media posts on the internet nowadays showing steps on how to improve your hand hygiene by washing your hands properly effectively. If you have been to public places, touched doorknobs, telephone booths, or ATM machines and you don’t have immediate access to faucets where you can wash your hands, you can use alcohol or hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.

Indeed, now is not the time to be undisciplined citizens as the whole world is facing a massive dilemma and only through public cooperation can we achieve a coronavirus-free environment again. Be an example to your neighborhood and start the change within the four corners of your house.