To all of us it is now part of daily life-trying to figure out what someone is doing in a store or at a figure while they were face masks.
Even for those who have hearing problems or are mute, masks will prohibit them from knowing anything at all.
“You could speak in French as well,” says Fizz Izagaren, a UK paediatric doctor who has been deeply deaf since he was two years old.
“I can hear one or two words but it’s meaningless, it doesn’t make sense. I’ve lost the ability to read lips when someone wears a face mask. I’ve lost facial expressions-I’ve lost the main things that make up a sentence.”
Face masks are coming
It’s a concern she faces with the about 466 million people around the world who, according to the World Health Organization, have debilitating hearing loss.
Standard face masks, which have become popular as countries seek to avoid coronavirus spreading, muffle words and cover the ears.
But now a workaround pops up for businesses and suppliers alike.
Main dans la Main (Hand in Hand), an organization in Chevrières, northern France that helps deaf and hearing impaired individuals. It is among organizations around the world that have developed a translucent window mask.
Her designer, Kelly Morellon, has collaborated with her mother Sylvie to form a formula. That protects the nose which leaves the mouth clear and can be cleaned at high temperatures to prevent contamination.
“The main purpose of these translucent masks is to make it easier for deaf and hearing disabled people to read someone’s lips talking to them”. Kelly told the BBC.
“But they are still very helpful for disabled people , people with intellectual disabilities and little kids. Who may be terrified of masks who need to see facial expressions.
“In any event, a clear mask helps you to see the faces of each other. And that couldn’t be more important at this sad moment.”