Washing your hands is, obviously, a great thing to do in life. But the forget-masks-wash-your-hands era, even if motivated by a concern about medical supplies, carried a larger implication that’s stuck with us — fear dirty things. The correct message should be to fear contaminated air.
Good public messaging is hard, and even harder when you’re dealing with a novel, contagious and deadly virus experts are learning about in the fly. Compound that with motivations driven by supply shortages, and it’s way, way worse.
Incompetence breeds incompetence.
The good news is that poor messaging on ventilation means you don’t have to pay through the nose for an air purifier.