The Irrational Agony of Trying Not to Touch My Face

Coronavirus Stockpile…forget Clorox wipes, I’m dead if Blinker doesn’t’ have Feast

It’s the name on everyone’s lips

Hold on, that’s a terrible way to start a post about the coronavirus.

It’s the name we want on as few lips as possible.  Hence the reason we have to stop touching our faces.

So far, I’ve been lucky.  I live in an area of the country that has not yet been infected by the coronavirus, so I haven’t started building up my underground bunker.

I’ll cop to buying an extra package of toilet paper, but I haven’t cleaned Walgreens out of hand sanitizer or Clorox wipes.  I have stockpiled only one item.

The one thing I’m terrified to be without:  Grilled Salmon and Shrimp Fancy Feast.

If five o’clock rolls around and I serve Blinker Beef Flavored Fancy Feast—or, god help me, generic—cat scratch fever will do me in faster than covid-19.

Beyond stockpiling cat food, I’ve taken only basic precautions.  I’m diligently washing my hands and frequently wiping down my office desk and smartphone.  I’m using hand sanitizer at the gym.

Easy, common sense things we should all be doing every flu season.

Then there’s the advice to stop touching your face.  You’ve seen it.  It’s everywhere.  If you don’t know that you’re not supposed to be touching your face right now, you probably think the coronavirus is a new flavor of Corona Light beer and you, my friend, need to stop reading this blog right now and do some serious googling.  Actually, cancel any cruises you have scheduled first.  Then get to googling.

But back to not touching my face. 

Reader, is this as difficult for you as it is for me?

If nothing else, the threat of coronavirus has shined a light on the fact that I touch my face ALL DAY.

My eyes itches.  I rub it.  My nose itches.  I take off my glasses and rub it.  While I have them off, I rub my eyes, which have both started to itch, even the one I just rubbed before I took off my glasses. 

I’m pretty sure I have the itchiest eyes and nose of any human on the planet.

I rub my temples from the strain.

My nose is itchy so I rub it—wait, it’s not even itchy and I’m rubbing it.

I HAVE A FETISH WITH MY OWN NOSE.

Tackling the whole face is impossible, so I focus on not touching my mouth, only to discover that I put more things in my mouth than a slobbering toddler.  Pens.  Keyrings.  My fingernails.  My cuticles.  The handle of my purse.

THE HANDLE OF MY PURSE, WHICH I HAVE NEVER CLEANED.  (Well, which I had never cleaned until two days ago).

Reader, I LICK MY FINGERTIPS to turn magazine pages.

Even without the threat of coronavirus, how have I survived to thirty-eight?

The only solution is to touch my face with my shirt.  After one or two minutes of successfully not touching my face, I pull my shirt up over my face and rub the fabric all over me.  I’m like a supermodel standing under a waterfall of cloth or those people in laundry detergent commercials smelling their freshly cleaned clothes.

Then it’s back to trying to not touch my face for one or two more minutes.

My favorite part of the day is in the shower, when I can touch my face all I want with a soapy washcloth. 

My hand and my face are like a prisoner and his visitor with their hands pressed together against the glass—longing to touch if only through a barrier.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not making light of the virus.  People are suffering, and those of us that are (for now) out of harm’s way should proceed with caution but not panic.

According to experts, aside from washing your hands and not touching your face, the most important thing is to relax.  Live your life.  Take precautions, but don’t think about it too much.

Maybe I could stop thinking about not touching my face if everyone from the New York Times to my local news to Good Morning America stopped reminding me to AVOID TOUCHING MY FACE.

Oh for Pete’s sake.

I just touched it again.

Without using my shirt.

It was wonderful.

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