When it comes to communication, we rely on language at the expense of the rest of our communication toolbox. However, nonverbal communication is just as important as the words we use.1 In times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of face masks has become ubiquitous in many countries. Many facial expressions are the same across cultures, like happiness, sadness, anger and fear and our faces can express emotions without saying a word. Given widespread masking, this nonverbal communication has become increasingly difficult.
This paper from Schlögl and Jones in the Journal of the American Geriatiric Society gives practical advice on how to communicate while having to wear a face mask to our most vulnerable patients during the pandemic.