To the CDC,

I’m going to be straight with you guys. I’m a middle-aged white hand (f.) that craves the physical touch. I like being touched and I like touching. That’s how I’ve always been. In the middle of the night, I often dream of caressing the face – the bumpy nose, soft eyelids, and wet lips. When you think of running your fingers over chiseled abs, I think of running mine over oily T-zones.

But now, in the light of COVID-19, I hear that you’re urging people to not touch their faces. As a hand, I am very upset with this decision. For the past 40 years, I have touched the face every single day. I like feeling for spindly chin hair before anyone else spots them. During my time as a hand, I have successfully felt and plucked over a thousand stray hairs.

Once I’ve taken care of that, I usually canvas the face for zits and pimples, popping and squeezing the ones I deem fit. This has not only resulted in a clearer face but has also boosted the confidence of the body that I belong to. I have overcome my fear of large brown eyeballs to put in contact lenses, increasing the success rate of the body on dates. I’ve dabbed lipstick, smoothened foundation, and blended eyeshadow. And let’s not forget all the times I’ve assisted in removing a dangling booger from the nose.

After all of this, you’re telling me that I can’t touch the face anymore?

What baffles my deprived fingers is that you want us to report any symptoms of the coronavirus. But, if I can’t touch the forehead, how can I check for a fever? If the body has a cold, how do I help it blow its nose? When it coughs, how do I cover its mouth? If the body has a headache, how do I press its eyes or put a pill in its mouth?

While we’re on the topic of the virus, I do have to admit that lately I’ve been experiencing this tingling feeling all over me – a prickling sensation that begins from my fingertips and continues onto my palm. I think it’s just withdrawal. My fingers have been isolated from the face for far too long. But you know, it could also be the COVID-19 particles crawling all over me. Oh, don’t you worry. I’m not going anywhere near the nose or mouth. You’ve made sure of that.

Today, while touching the air (nowhere nearly as soft as the face), I was reminiscing about the good old days when I didn’t have to smell the contents of lunch released by the body I belong to. I could just cover my nose and wait for the stink to pass. During the frequent Grey’s Anatomy marathons, I could wipe the tears before they ruined the $100 makeup. When spinach would get stuck between two teeth, I could swiftly remove it before it was seen by anybody else. And when the body spotted someone it didn’t want to make small talk with, I could promptly throw myself over the face, hiding it from their field of vision.

Social distancing myself from those big brown eyes and luscious lips has been hard. But, what worries me the most is that I may never be able to satisfy the face in the same way again. When I’m anxious, I tend to constantly pick the skin around my nails, so my fingers have become rough and ugly. Furthermore, all the soaps and chemicals have robbed me of my natural softness, leaving me dry and broken. And now that I’m damaged, the face may not want to continue our relationship.

Yeah sure, I could probably fulfill my need to touch by caressing the arms, legs or stomach, but getting into something new at this age isn’t easy. And in case you haven’t heard, hands age the fastest.

Yours upsettingly,
The face’s (ex) right-hand


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