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July Blog by Cc DeGraff

“As our faces are partially disguised with protective gear, we ponder upon facial expressions behind masks. Children in particular, are the happiness of society, their smiles are a power force of infectious positivity, and their now masked expressions bring light to a new direction in which our society is understanding each other and evolving.


Human communication includes a complex array of components, including body language, intonations, eye contact, lip reading, distance between the physical bodies, smell, even air temperature! Yet, as we are advised to physically socially distance, and cover our mouths and noses, so does the chemistry of communication components change. We must exercise other muscles to understand each other, there are new puzzle pieces, and it may well be that our comprehension of each other will take on a different spin.


Psychologists present a spectrum of light in the missing smile behind the mask, and its socio-emotional impact on society. For one, the human brain seeks positivity. A face in disguise is a puzzle for us to decipher whether our counterpart is “Kosher”, and for the most part, we assume that it is. As a disguised bride with a veil is seen as a symbol of beauty, so does the healthy human brain endeavor to translate what we cannot see, as beauty. For the most part, we see positivity and attraction. Our brains, in fact, make decisions about how attractive another person’s face is within around 13 thousandths of a second. This article describes the processing as so fast that it occurs below conscious awareness.” – this excerpt is taken from a blog from Temple Beth David’s Gal Kessler Rohs


“Our eyes don’t lie, they’re windows to the soul” and we can tell so much from someone’s expression. I have felt comfort by the expressions I have seen in the faces of the residents and team members.  A smile is universal and you can feel a smile even from a few feet away. Although so much has been taken from us recently, the ability to smile and make a connection is a joy we are still capable of albeit at a distance.


Wishing you a wonderful Independence Day!