How Not To Pick Your Nose During the Coronavirus

An entire country has been shut down for almost two months because of a virus that is transmitted through the very things mothers have been trying to teach their children for centuries: Wash your hands, keep your social distance and for goodness sake(a southern term), get your thumb out of your mouth and stop picking your nose!

An entire country has been shut down for almost two months because of a virus that is transmitted through the very things mothers have been trying to teach their children for centuries: Wash your hands, keep your social distance and for goodness sake(a southern term), get your thumb out of your mouth and stop picking your nose! The nagging that...The nagging that made our children roll their eyes in the past may not be necessary in the future, especially if parents are talking to their children about how and why this virus, and all viruses, spread so fast.

Think about it. Viral infections have always spread the same way the coronavirus is spreading and killing people during this epidemic.

Through the air as small droplets or tiny aerosol particles, which is why we should stay home when we are sick so as not to expose others.

Using our unwashed hands to touch our eyes, nose and mouth.

Dr. Oz says the issue is less about touching your nose and more about keeping your hands clean. “If someone sneezed on this chair two hours ago, maybe even six hours ago, the viruses on there could still be alive,” he says. “So if I were to touch that chair and then go to my nose, my nose is a petri dish. It has nice, moist mucous membranes. And then we begin to colonize viruses.”

And the ways not to get sick has always been the same: Wash your hands a lot (although mine are beginning to look like corn husk), keep your hands away from your face and when you or someone else is sick with a contagious illness–keep your distance.

My first break after beginning nursing school, I came home and sanitized our entire house. I drove my family crazy telling them to wash their hands, but I was learning how people became ill and how I could help them avoid getting sick.

However, there is something about putting your hands to your face that brings comfort, whether it be to put your head in your hands because you have a headache, to wipe the tears from your eyes, or putting your hand over your mouth to keep from saying what you're really thinking.

Picking your nose, however, is not only unhealthy, but is considered a private act (such as burping, farting, urinating, and defecating). I know what you're thinking, but it had to be said to finish the story.

Have you ever stopped at a red light and glanced over at the car next to you and saw someone picking their nose with one hand on the steering while the other is in their nose? Awkward! I usually turn away quickly.

With that said, we all do it. Maybe not while our car is stopped at a red light, but we do it. People pick their nose for different reasons. Sometimes the nose is dry or overly moist and may be irritating. Picking them can relieve the discomfort. Others pick their nose out of boredom or a nervous habit.

There is a saying, "You can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose." I don't know exactly what that means except maybe that you can pick your friends and you can make your own decisions, but you can’t make your friends’ decisions for them.

So that makes us responsible for taking care of ourselves while being careful not to harm others during this trying time of social distancing.

Here are some tips that can help you or be used to teach your children how to break the habit of picking their nose or constantly touching their face or even nail-biting.

A lot of times people pick at their nose because it is dry. A quick spritz with saline spray may help restore moisture and prevent dry snot and boogers. Keeping a few clean tissues in your pocket keeps your hands away from your nose.

Keeping your hands busy can help with nose-picking, nail-biting and touching your face. It can be done with a stress ball, a rubber band wrapped around your wrist, sewing, putting puzzles together or learning a new craft.

A young mother told me how she helped her children to stop picking their nose. Every time she saw them picking their nose they had to go wash their hands for 20 seconds. "It worked," she said.

When our grandchildren visit I always have fragrant smelling liquid soap, so I know they have washed their hands when they come out of the bathroom or into the kitchen to help.

I believe our children may have healthier habits in the future because of the Coronavirus epidemic. What they've learned about not transmitting illness in this pandemic can turn into a new normal of practicing good hygiene in their lives and in how they teach their own children to stay well.

And if they need to be reminded, they can point back this moment in history and say, "Remember the 2020 Pandemic. Wash your hands, stop touching your face and keep your distance. You never know who's got what!


Author's Image
Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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Story Comments

  1. Hah...your title drew me in, but like my mom did...I always carry tissues in my pocket!

    • Deana Landers -

      Thanks Janet, for reading and commenting on my story. I'm very thankful to be a part of this group.Deana

  2. Too funny and I have allergies too and it is tough to not touch your face!

    • Deana Landers -

      Kim, my son challenged me to write a funny story about the Coronavirus and I had to keep reminding myself to stop touching my eyes. I keep lots of hand sanitizer:)Thank you for commenting on my story.Deana

  3. Lynn Spencer -

    it is soooo hard to not touch our faces! I'll be thinking of this post all day today!

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Lynn, for reading and commenting on my story. Deana

  4. Very timely advice. Since Oprah said that we needed to wash the hands for 20 seconds and to sing twice the happy birthday I have been doing it, but I recite Psalm 23 instead of the happy birthday. When I am nervous my face itches and it is difficult for me to stop touching it, but it is a bad habit.

    • Deana Landers -

      Loren, thank you for your comments. You are right. It is difficult to keep our hands away from our faces. But I like your Psalm 23 handwashing technique best.Deana

  5. I have to confess when I started reading this post guess where my finger was. I have been trying to not touch my nose but I have allergies and its very hard not too. I catch myself and stop.

    • Deana Landers -

      Maria, that is so funny. I had a difficult time writing this because I struggle with touching my face too, but it needed to be written, so I tried to add some humor. Thank you for reading and commenting. Deana

    • Deana Landers -

      Maria, that is so funny. I had a difficult time writing this because I struggle with touching my face too, but it needed to be written, so I tried to add some humor. Thank your for reading and commenting. Deana

  6. :D Today's story made me laugh Deana. Goodness, I never imagined I'd be entertained by a nose-picking article, but everything is different now, so there you have it :-) Thank you for always sharing something that's real. It's so refreshing and I do so enjoy your writing style

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Michelle. It was a story that needed to written and my son encouraged me to make it a funny one. Deana

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