See-through solution: Deaf Indonesians turn to clear virus masks

Indonesians Dwi Rahayu (L) and her husband Elfiandi -- who are deaf and mute -- display their face masks with a transparent cover.

Indonesians Dwi Rahayu (L) and her husband Elfiandi -- who are deaf and mute -- display their face masks with a transparent cover.

AFP/Agung Supriyanto

MAKASSAR - Lip-reading suddenly got tricky when everyone covered their face during the coronavirus pandemic, but Indonesian tailors have hit upon the perfect solution -- see-through masks.

One husband and wife duo in Makassar on Sulawesi island started producing cloth masks with transparent plastic in the middle to help fellow deaf people. 

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"Since the pandemic started, everyone is wearing facemasks. For deaf people, we can't understand what others are saying because we can't read their lips," said 52-year-old Faizah Badaruddin.

"There were a lot of misunderstandings," she added.

Badaruddin and her husband used to sew cushions, bedsheets and curtains for customers. 

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But when orders dried up, Badaruddin looked up instructional videos online to work out how to produce masks for the hearing impaired.

Since early April, the little business has been producing as many as two dozen transparent masks a day in small, medium and large sizes. 

Source
AFP

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