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Ask HN: Transparent masks for first-responders when responding to an incident?
1 point by Pick-A-Hill2019 58 days ago | hide | past | favorite
Should first-responders wear transparent face masks* when responding to an incident?

Humans are visual creatures [1] and read visual cues from facial expressions to assess how to react (e.g. is the other person smiling, frowning, snarling). In tense situations knowing whether the police officer was smiling or snarling can make the world of difference between escalation and de-escalation.

Thinking about it further, transparent face masks would assist people with hearing difficulties to lip read at least some words even if the transparent bit was slightly fogged up.

As with all questions that fall in to the “seems so obvious but not thought of by others that are more knowledgable” category I was curious to throw this out there to see how others felt.

What are your thoughts and opinions on this? Would you feel more reassured by something like this or more freaked out? I would imagine that there are drawbacks including possibly that transparent masks being more difficult to breath through (because of reduced air flow) and probably lots of pros and cons I haven’t considered.

[1] https://www.livescience.com/44494-human-facial-expressions-compound-emotions.html

*I did a quick search and yes, transparent face masks are a thing (most are like a conventional nose and mouth type mask with a plastic cutout around the mouth area)

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