but you touch less your mouth if you have touched something (anything in an infected area) that is infected with the virus
it reminds you constantly that you are in a dangerous area and that infection is just 'out there' anywhere (because it is NOT normal seeing thousands or people with masks walking around)
it makes them shut up :) everybody will buy an Ipod or something to read as speaking to people can be 'risky'.
and to finish this is the biggest test yet of all the plans and preparations that have been going on since SARS in 2004. This is 5 years ago so it is a good moment to evaluate. The economy came to a near standstill in 2004 because of the fear of the theoretical possibility that it could spread. This theoretical possibility is now even much greater but there is some practical evidence that it won't necessary play out like that. As doubtful as I was in the beginning about the crisismanagement and about the willingness to take appropriate preventive measures and about the chaotic contradictory communication here, things are going more or less as they should have been from the beginning.
But hey, I am a security paranoid :) luckily that is my job...