When the virus arrived in New York, designer Joe Doucet took his wife and three children to their country home in the Catskill Mountains where he spent lockdown creating what may be the new face of work.
“A designer is a problem-solver,” he told StoryCode. “And what greater problem is there than the pandemic? I struggled with what my contribution would be. I read voraciously on the topic and discovered quite early that face shields are more impactful than face masks.”
A recent study found that universal adoption of face shields combined with testing, contact tracing and hand hygiene could help reduce transmission of the virus. It suggested that face shields offer a number of advantages over basic cloth face masks: they can be reused indefinitely, are easy to clean, include eye protection and prevent the wearer from touching their face. Crucially they are transparent enabling the wearer to communicate with others.
“When you can’t see someone’s expression you lose a lot of meaning,” said Doucet. “Something jovial can be taken as hostile. It’s hard to come across as warm and welcoming when someone can’t see your expression. Face shields are better but face shields are so alien to us.”
A medical face shield is not only an unfamiliar object, it is also an obtrusive and unsettling reminder of the pandemic.
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