It wouldn’t be 2022 unless there were a few COVID papers. One that caught my eye: “Effect of Wearing a Face Mask on Hand-to-Face Contact by Children in a Simulated School Environment.”
This paper reports on a randomized trial in which some kids (ages 5 to 18) were asked to wear face masks and some to not. The authors used camera footage to judge whether wearing a mask caused kids to touch their face more. This is something that has been speculated.
The authors find that kids with the masks do not touch their face more than those without.
This paper actually isn’t wildly interesting. But it illustrates to me the slow progress of science. When we argue about masks, there are a lot of pieces of data that are missing from these arguments. This is one of them. In and of itself, it doesn’t suggest we should do anything in particular, but it’s one small puzzle piece in a bigger picture.