Wash your hands.
That’s the number one recommendation from mainstream doctors to avoid getting the coronavirus or other viruses that are circulating, such as the cold or flu.
But hand washing is only half the answer.
Viruses don’t get into your body through your hands. Unless you have a cut or sore, germs can’t penetrate your skin. Your hands can be teeming with coronavirus or flu virus, but you still won’t get sick unless…
You touch your face.
Major health organizations such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you avoid touching your face with your hands to prevent coronavirus. But this advice gets far less publicity than hand washing.
Dr. William P. Sawyer is a family physician based in Ohio. He says not enough people are getting the message. And, he says, the recommendation is too weak.
“The CDC and WHO say ‘avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth,’” Dr. Sawyer said. “The advice should be ‘Absolutely do not touch them.’
“If you never touch your facial mucous membranes, you’re less likely to be sick from any viral respiratory infection.”
Dr. Mary Louis McLaws is one of the world’s top experts on virus transmission. She says that if don’t touch your face, the coronavirus has no way to get into your body.
“Eyes, nose, mouth—all those mucus membranes are the portal into your body for a virus like Covid-19 (coronavirus),” she said.
One study found that you reduce your risk for all infectious disease—not just coronavirus—by 80% if you don’t touch the mucus membranes of your face with your hands.
Dr. McLaws did a landmark study in 2015 that looked at face touching and virus transmission. It found that we touch our faces far more than we think.
She and her colleagues filmed medical students at a lecture. Then they reviewed the footage to count how many times they touched their faces with their hand. They did it an average of 23 times an hour.
Nearly half the touches (11) were to the eyes, nose, or mouth—what infectious disease specialists call the “T-zone.”
Subsequent studies that looked at people while they were working in offices or riding a train found similar rates of T-zone touching.
Dr. Sawyer said, “If there is one behavior change that could prevent infection, it’s do not touch your T-zone.”
4 Ways to Shut Down the Coronavirus Pathway
Of course, not touching our faces is easier said than done. Most of us are in the habit. We do it without thinking. And what if we have an itch? We all know how hard it is to ignore.
Here are strategies to help break the face-touching habit:
- Use a tissue. When you feel the need to scratch your nose or rub your eyes, use a fresh tissue instead of your hands.
- Identify triggers. Figure out why you touch your face and address the cause. For example, if you find that dry skin or itchy eyes make you touch your face, use moisturizer or eye drops to treat those conditions.
- Wear makeup. True, this won’t work for most men, but a 2019 study found that women touch their faces far less when they wear makeup.
- Wear glasses. The same study found that people who wear glasses touch their face less.
The bottom line?
Yes, wash your hands. It does help. During the 2003 SARS epidemic it reduced transmission by 30%.
But also take the next step.
Make a concerted effort to avoid touching your T-zone. It may be impossible to stop touching your face entirely. But simply being aware that it is a problem will reduce touching, which means you cut your risk of coronavirus, the flu, and other infectious diseases.
Editor’s Note: If you’re worried about the coronavirus outbreak, you need to know about “infinite immunity.” It’s a recent Nobel Prize-winning discovery that gives your body the power to fight off virtually any infection. You can find out more by reading our monthly journal, Independent Healing. Go HERE.