The World Health Organization insists on the three most effective methods of protection against the coronavirus:
- Stay at home
- Wash your hands
- Don’t touch your face
It doesn’t look very difficult, does it? So why can’t we? Why can’t we stay at home? Can’t we wash our hands for more than 20 seconds? More importantly, why can’t we stop touching our heads, our faces?
I was looking at the people in the room and I couldn’t count how many people had touched their face with their hands in the last 20 minutes…
It was the head of the World Health Organization Emergency Health Service who said this. He is not the only official who does not follow what he says and does. There is a small-scale study of medical students examining this issue, let alone authorities. All 26 students touched their faces an average of 23 times an hour while listening to the lecture. We touch our mouth, cheeks, chin, nose, eyes and various parts of our head every 2.5 minutes. We begin to touch even before we are born. In a study of 24-36 weeks gestation, even babies in the womb touched their faces. Babies often touch their faces with their left hand if their mothers are stressed. In another similar study, mothers who smoked were more likely to touch their babies’ faces.
Why Do We Touch Our Faces?
The desire to touch your face is not just a human behavior. Cats, dogs, even squirrels have it. Squirrels touch their faces using their front paws. A study of squirrels in the 1970s claimed that hand-washing could be an olfactory behavior.
This causes us to question whether there is a relationship between our desire to touch our face and smells. You know, at the beginning of the video I said: Stay at home, wash your hands, don’t touch your face. Couldn’t these three behaviors, which are easy to say and difficult to do, be completely disconnected from each other? Could it be that our need for smell is connecting them? We can’t stay at home because we have to collect different scents. We wash our hands indiscriminately because deep down we don’t want these odors to be wiped away. We touch our face because we need to transfer the smells we collect with our hands to our nose from the outside.
So What Are We Doing Now?
Although there is no conclusive evidence, research links our avoidance to touching our face. Now that we have learned this information, he may try to touch our faces less. At least until the coronavirus is over!
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