From this week in Germany due to the corona pandemic, a mask is mandatory in local public transport and almost everywhere when shopping. For deaf people, however, this means: “We lose the facial expressions and that is part of the language – for us it is particularly important because we can read a lot from them,” explains martial artist and actor Benjamin Piwko (40, “You only listen good for the heart ”), who has been deaf since a medical treatment mistake in his childhood.
In an interview with spot on news, the 40-year-old says about his personal situation: “It is not that bad for me. I don’t necessarily have to communicate when shopping and I can still see my eyes and eyebrows. This helps. I can write it down for other important things, such as a doctor’s. ”And what does he think of face masks with a field of vision? “In the hospital, I would like everyone to wear transparent masks. That’s how you can see people laughing – it’s important to keep seeing the emotions. ”
Also in the Corona crisis not enough sign language interpreters are used for important announcements, Piwko says: “Germany has a shortage of interpreters. And then sometimes something happens such that the camera films the interpreter, but cuts off an arm and you cannot see everything or it is faded in so small that you cannot see anything. ”To better remove barriers for the deaf in the corona crisis to be able to do it would need “more interpreters and written material in understandable language, for example with subtitles”.
The former “Let’s Dance” participant tells about his corona isolation: “I am very calm now because I cannot receive a visitor. I can reduce stress and take care of new projects, such as my new book. ”According to Piwko, he walks a lot in the forest, planning projects and writing down ideas. And what is he most looking forward to after the crisis? “Getting my job done and finally being able to meet my dear friends again.”