#JustCurious Why doesn't the sign language interpreter at COVID-19 briefings wear a mask?
REGINA -- She’s been a mainstay at Saskatchewan's COVID-19 briefings since the start of the pandemic. A few viewers couldn’t help but notice that Karen Nurokowski, who works for the Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, doesn't wear a mask despite public health orders making masks mandatory at all indoor public spaces. Here’s why:
American sign language, as she’s doing in these briefings, is a visual one. Nurokowski’s facial expression, as she signs, are an essential part of that language. Think of it like the inflection that most people put on words to change the meaning of a sentence.
So why doesn’t she wear a clear face shield?
Same reason. Experts say they block access to what they call facial grammar. They can fog up, which again blocks the view. So you’ll continue to see Nurokowski, physically distancing, at media conferences.