The Brief: In reaction to Coronavirus prevention information that says not to touch your face, people are making memes about how tempting face touching becomes after you're told not to.
Since being told “don’t touch your face” may make doing so all the more enticing, people are venting via memes and jokes about this important, but sometimes difficult to adhere to safety measure.
Having someone tell you not to touch your face can be a lot like them telling you not to think of an elephant. As Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health PSA’s tell people to wash their hands, avoid work when sick, and not to touch their faces, especially their eyes, nose, and mouth, people are realizing just how often they touch their faces.
Don’t Touch Your Face While You Scroll Through These Memes
CDC: please don’t touch your face
Me: what if I get something in my eye
CDC: just try not—
Me: or like, a bad itch on my cheek
CDC: then wash yo—
Me: THIS IS TOO HARD, I CAN’T DO IT
Me: SEE YOU CAN’T DO IT EITHER
— Grace Under Sadness (@OpOnions) February 28, 2020
At a press conference, a CDC official advised people not to touch their faces, before licking her own finger to turn a page, demonstrating just how inadvertent face touching can be.
Don't touch your face or mouth, expert warns.
She is very, very serious. Don't do it. #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/EHPmEludbz
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) March 4, 2020
Apparently the trials and tribulations of quitting face touching is relatable even to famous people, as seen in Anna Kendrick, Seth Rogen, and other celebrities’ “don’t touch your face” memes.
Authority figures talking about how face touching is so dangerous and unclean. Like, are you TRYING to make it my new fetish?
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) March 5, 2020
Realizing basically all I do is touch my face.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) March 3, 2020
public health officials: don't touch your face
— gabe bergado (@gabebergado) March 5, 2020
CDC: don’t touch your face
My face: Your nose itches. You have an eyebrow out of place. Your cheek itches. You have a sharp booger. Your eye itches. Now your nose itches again. #seattlecoronavirus
— Derek (@derekhamiltron) March 3, 2020
Friend 1: CDC says the best way to avoid Corona is to not touch your face
Friend 2: Impossible. How long could you go?
Friend: 1: Yeah! We wouldn't last an hour
Friend 2: Minutes
Me, giggling: 30 years
Me: What? I can go the distance!
1 & 2 sigh
— Steve Spohn 🚀 SXSW 🚀 (@stevenspohn) March 4, 2020
**reads you shouldn't touch your face because of the Coronavirus***
**SPENDS THE REST OF THE DAY WITH ONE HAND IN MY MOUTH AND THE OTHER IN MY EYE OH MY GOD HAVE I ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THIS?!?**
— amber ruffin (@ambermruffin) March 3, 2020
When it’s safe, go ahead and touch your face and feed your cat a little salami.
you can touch your face with clean hands in the privacy of your own home as a treat
— Liz, A Soft Ghost (@liz_lawlz) March 4, 2020
The CDC said to avoid catching the corona virus don't touch your face. Available at you local pet store in all sizes. pic.twitter.com/M1DBzWD1Os
— Rob (@Rsfoto_Rob) March 5, 2020
For autistic people, people with OCD, and others with compulsive tendencies, avoiding face touching can be extra difficult.
As a person with ocd tendencies it’s so fun that every bit of news on here is like “do you know you involuntarily touch your face 1000x a day now you need to stop doing that”
— Henry Zebrowski (@HenryLovesYou) March 5, 2020
Health officials: "Don't touch your face."
Me, autistic: "I would rather die." *rubs eyes*
— I am the Storm, I am the Fury (@totallyhealthie) March 4, 2020
Everyone re: the Corona virus: "Don't touch your face!!"
Me, a compulsive face and lip picker: pic.twitter.com/HK8aOr2m0M
— You've Got The Touch (@Origamigryphon) March 3, 2020
If you’re struggling to stop touching your face, both The Atlantic and The New York Times have published articles with tips on how to stop and explanations as to why it’s so hard. Also, know that you’re not alone in this struggle to stop touching your face. In fact, as I’m writing this, all I can think about is how badly I want to touch my face.