Do not touch your face.
Some variation of this directive exists in nearly every one of the countless coronavirus prevention articles that have surely made their way across your screen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even has it listed second on its official coronavirus prevention page, right after not rubbing yourself on the already infected. It’s a simple message: If you do not want the disease, do not touch your face. Short. Logical. Easy to remember.
Monday, amid the global fears and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, the S&P 500 had its worst day since the 2008 financial crisis. When the numbers go bad, the news requires pictures of the people whose job is to look at the numbers—traditionally, pictures in which those people appear to be expressing their alarm or concern by clutching their faces. What would prevail in the contest between the financial photojournalism protocol and the infectious disease protocol? Behold, but do not put your own palm on your face in dismay.
They touched their faces.