For Deaf People Like Me, Mask Mandates Impose Never-Ending Isolation

Brad Kirby:

I was born with hearing loss in both ears. Since the age of six, I have worn hearing aids. Being hearing-impaired has been a huge life disadvantage. For example, as a child I couldn’t hear the whistle while trying to play sports, and continued playing until I see people laughing or trying to get my attention. I’ve missed jokes because I couldn’t understand the words being spoken. When I laugh, my hearing aids squeal because my ears move and the gap in my ear canals causes feedback.

I only hear parts of sentences and I am constantly having to process, in a fraction of a second, the sounds of words said, then to mentally match those sounds to words I have heard before, then to put the whole sentence together in my mind just to be able to communicate.

Trying to be “normal” and have a normal life was always my goal. That has been nearly impossible for nearly two years now. In spring 2020, the first face mask mandate due to Covid-19 went into effect. I knew I was in trouble.

Notes and links on taxpayer supported Dane County Madison Public Health mandates, lawsuits and lawfare.