Officials warning the public about how to prevent the spread of coronavirus have been urging people not to touch their face. But they themselves are proving how hard it is to break the lifelong habit.
One public health director warned everyone not to touch their face during a press conference, then she licked her finger to turn a page. As Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez advised Americans on how to prevent transmission, she also kept tucking her hair behind her ears. And President Trump said during a press conference that he hadn't touched his face in weeks, yet recent photographs show him doing the opposite.
It's a spontaneous habit that's hard to break, but the coronavirus outbreak has experts reminding the public how important it is to your health.
"I've become hyper-aware of how often we shake hands and might exchange a droplet," said Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a special adviser to the World Health Organization. "How often do we then go back and touch our face, our mouth, our nose?"
Another doctor calls it "the t-zone" and even uses a plastic shield train patients to avoid touching it.
Infectious disease experts say you can also keep your arms folded or wear gloves to prevent transmission.