Facing the Itch

stop touching your face

Coronavirus pandemic times require that we
notice our hands with intent
keeping hands away from the face

The challenge now is what to do
if you have an itch on your nose?
or a drop of tear in your eye?

Times now challenge us to just
let the itch sit for a while
notice the brief discomfort, let it rise and fall

Embrace the itch equanimously
scratching is not required
be conscious of actions that usually are an unconscious habit

Tickles cannot kill you but
scratching in a pandemic can
postpone the scratch and you’ll begin to increase your hand-awareness

Try a Zen approach however
if you really must scratch your nose
fold hands in a namaste bow, then scratch with intention


Dr. McLaws was the senior author of a 2015 study on face touching that documented the alarming number of times we do it. While medical students attended a lecture, the researchers filmed them and counted the number of times they touched any part of their faces. Over the course of an hour, students touched their faces, on average, 23 times. Nearly half of the touches were to the eyes, nose or mouth — what infectious disease researchers call “the T-zone.” (from Stop Touching Your Face! in The New York Times, March 6, 2020)

Graphic from an unknown artist but I found it on a Nick Nilsson post, Boosting Immunity.

12 thoughts on “Facing the Itch

  1. I enjoyed this fun poem, LuAnne, made me smile. I enjoyed that recent article in the New York Times, opened my eyes to how many times I, too, touch my face. Tricky to change the habit, espec. with itches, but now I have your fun poem to focus on as I try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jet. Touching our faces is so ingrained and automatic. I hope you are staying healthy. I suspect this pandemic is going to get worse with the state of our health care system in the US.


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