Immunoclip points out that ‘distance makes a difference’

By Gordon Lambie
Immunoclip points out that ‘distance makes a difference’
(Photo : Louis Sansfaçon)

Louis Sansfaçon has been busy these last few days working to meet the growing demand for the immunoclip, a small symbol he has designed to attach to people’s procedural masks to indicate a compromised immune system.

“My motivation is Émilie,” Sansfaçon said, referring to his daughter, who died of colorectal cancer at 31 years old in the fall of 2020.

The clip, he said, was an idea that came to his daughter when they were walking to the parking lot after a chemotherapy session at Quebec’s Hôtel-Dieu hospital during the early days of the pandemic and encountered a man who was not wearing a mask.

“Émilie said to me, ‘he doesn’t know that I’m fighting for my life,’” Sansfaçon recalled, explaining that she quickly came up with the idea of using the mask itself as a tool for communicating her condition to the world. “She came up with the concept and then said to me, ‘now you go invent something,’” he added with a laugh.

That task having been set, Sansfaçon said that he then took to the internet for inspiration.

“This would need to be something known and recognized to work,” he said, explaining that he looked to famous trademarks and logos for ideas about what would be memorable and found one unifying detail. “The most well-known logos in the world all keep it simple.”

So, in his daughter’s hospital room one day, Sansfaçon sketched up a simple letter i (for immunocompromised) using an orange pencil he had nearby.
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