Hearing Impaired People Break Down How Mask Policies Have Impacted Their Daily Life
Wearing a mask is a non-negotiable measure that we all need to take in order to stem the spread of the most prolific and deadly pandemic in modern history. It is also a complete and utter pain in the keister.
Let's just consider some of the new discoveries we've all been forced to unveil since regularly mask wearing hit the scene.
First, humidity. Face moistening, inside an outhouse at a music festival air temperature right in your face. And second, the brutal recognition that one's breath is not on par with the aromas of a Yankee candle or some amazing cuisine. It's actually horrible.
And for most of us, that's as far as the difficulties go. The mask is a new discomfort, a mere annoyance.
But for people who are hard of hearing or deaf, the mask is a serious problem. When lip reading and facial expression are primary means of communication, a sudden shield is devastating.
A recent Reddit thread explored the ways mask-wearing has effected the daily lives of that community.
As Bad As You'd Think
"Its absolutely awful. I have trouble in places with a lot of background noise and have to read lips. My wife helps me out a lot but she can't go with me everywhere."
"It's very frustrating."
The Sounds of Charlie Brown's Parents
"Stranger: blahblah blah blaaah mmph...you?"
"Stranger: blahblah blaaah blaaah..mmph...YOU?"
"Stranger: .......you did?"
"Me: running away"
"Don't Be Mad At Me!"
"It's hell. When asking people to speak louder, they usually end up really yelling." -- lismez
"Which doesn't help because their speech is super muffled so it's just blurred together angry noises" -- bozwizard14
"My mom has this gift where she can speak loud enough for you to hear her on the other side of the house (not a small house, but not giant) without sounding like she's crazy mad and without hurting her voice."
"It's my main proof for mom magic." -- DogsBCoolBro
A Good Analysis
"Sign languages without facial expressions it's not as useful as with, and just emphasize them with eyes it's not enough. I'm a sign language interpreter and me, like all my colleagues, always end up with increase the distance and pull down the face mask."
"There's no other way, with the mask up it's as if a part of the grammatical structure of the language is missing and therefore there would still be a flaw in the communication."
"I wear hearing aids and even then sometimes it's hard to get people. But I'll usually say that I wear them and they will make an effort to speak up or speak more clearly."
"What sucks a** is hearing aids, masks, and glasses day. My ears are like WTF bruh? Or the damn string gets twisted in my hearing aid and when I pull the mask off it'll take then hearing aid with it. Then I'm like oh f*** these things are not cheap at all."
"I'm not even hearing impaired, and I've noticed how much I rely on reading lips." -- The_Sherpa
"People always ask me why I put my glasses on when they're talking to me. 'You don't need your glasses to hear' and I'd say, sure I do, I can hear better if I can see your lips moving, even if I'm not actually reading your lips." -- chiefgareth
This Man Person Has Seven Jobs
"I'm a bit hard of hearing. I can hear sounds just fine. A mouse farts two blocks away and it wakes me up. Human speech however is hard to discern. A lot of it sounds like a loud mumble."
"I need to see lips move to help me figure out what the hell is being said. I hate to ask people to say it again so I just smile and say 'yep.' "
"I have no idea what all I've 'agreed' to over the years."
Breaching the Wall
"I can't understand anything people are saying to me anymore. I always have to move to the side of the screens that are up at businesses, or lean really close to people talking."
"I know I shouldn't because of social distancing, but I have to or there's no way I know what people are saying."
Months of Ringing
"It's been a nightmare. I can barely chat with my customers and coworkers because of it, and have taken to the polite 'oh okay' sort of noises. I miss talking and feel like I've decayed."
"On top of that, the only mask that works for me is the kind you tie behind your head. Problem is, if something gets too close to my hearing aid, it starts to whistle, and the mask straps constantly trigger that."
"So even when I am trying to talk to someone, or a customer ambushes me with a question, half of what I'll hear is a faint constant drone in my ear."
"My girlfriend is hearing impaired and this is something she really struggles with. I'm usually interpret for her and answer questions for her when possible."
"Thanks for asking the question, I think a lot of people wouldn't even think about this, so it's nice to get it out there so people can be more understanding of our hard of hearing friends."
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In the midst of our shopping, we've all seen those warning labels on product packaging that leave us absolutely rolling our eyes. Who could possibly need to be warned about that?
But since the warning exists, we have to assume that someone made that mistake at some point.
There's the added fun of unnecessary products that no one should believe would work.
But just like the directions, there seems to be a marketable need for every product and direction.
Redditor 98_percent_simian asked:
"What product is marketed pretty much exclusively to stupid people?"
"Over-the-counter 'man-boosting' products like Nugenix Total-T. Though the commercials are hilarious. 'She'll like it too!' Yeah, I bet she did, Big Frank."
"Foot detox pads. Detox anything, actually."
Trust Your Body
"It drives me crazy when people talk about how they are going to do a cleanse and detox their digestive system because they have built up sludge."
"It's insane because your digestive system works just fine. If it isn't working, you need to be in the hospital."
Paid Social Media Features
"Every social media’s paid badges. I just don’t get it. Why? Just why do we need to pay for a badge?"
"Megachurch donations that are advertised to bring you salvation or other holy benefits."
"My friend's mother had her house painted with 5g blocking paint inside and out. She then got s**tty about her mobile not getting a signal and her WiFi not working properly."
"What did she think the paint was blocking?! Honestly, I'm surprised it did anything."
"I've had people attempt to rope me in before. The trick is that they spent hours roping you into the idea of 'working for yourself,' 'being your own boss,' 'affording for your family,' and 'living wealthy.' Pain points that any common American would typically have."
"They make you go through meetings, 'interviews,' and continually feed you the mentality and never actually mention the name of the company or what the actual business is."
"Until finally, after forever, they drop the Amway, Herbalife, Mary Kay, or whatever name. By that point, they've already sold you on the 'dream' that you convince yourself to try and put in the work."
"I've looked up definitions and excerpts about what brainwashing is. It literally felt like the same thing."
"'HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead.'"
"The ad never even says what HeadOn is supposed to actually do. It's supposed to relieve headaches, but they couldn't claim that because they have absolutely no proof of it maybe working."
"Essential Oils, not for the aromas, that’s all well and good but for its 'healing properties.' It’s sad when people become vehemently ill and rely on lavender to heal them or their children."
"Bunch of sad stories of children dying due to moronic parents believing in the powers of some plant over modern medicine."
"Fat loss everything."
Got Fight Milk?
"Fight Milk. I drink it every morning so I can fight like a cow."
"I'm thinking Scientology."
"When I go to Eastern Europe on vacation, there are mini-casinos on every corner. Sports betting, slot machines, etc. The middle-aged men in these clubs, frantically smoking cigarettes, hopelessly staring at the screens, with not an ounce of life in their eyes."
"Not sure if it's stupidity or desperation. But it's a sad sight to see."
"Online free IQ tests."
"Vacation Club 'points' (worse than a timeshare because it's nothing tangible)."
"My FIL offered to 'use points' to book us a vacation years back. He bought the points as a flex in front of his BIL and thought they were the greatest thing since sliced bread."
"Fast forward about two months after purchase and he makes his offer to cover a trip for us with some of the points. What he failed to mention/realize is that the points were for the ROOM ONLY."
"So as we started looking into the 'trip' being offered we realized not only would we have to pay for our flights but we would have to pay the all-inclusive fee at over 100 dollars each/per day. When we mentioned this he told us we would have to cover it because 'they cost too many points.'"
"So I did the math and hopped on Expedia to show him I could get the same trip for over 1000 dollars less when I just booked it online without the points. He REFUSED to believe this was possible until he tried to book his own trips with the points and ended up getting hosed. The look on his face when he tried to 'sell the points' (which the salesperson assured him would go for more than he paid for them if he decided to sell) was priceless."
"I bet you already guessed that the only 'customers' for the points are the company that sold them in the first place and they buy them back for pennies on the dollar." - YKYB
Some of these products and ideas have been around for a long time and continue to interest new consumers. But as some here have pointed out, the products are more about putting on a good appearance than actually delivering results.
Most people can be very guarded because of their vulnerabilities, even if you think you know them really well.
These disconcerting memories or character traits are better left undisclosed, for they can be painful for individuals to revisit or acknowledge.
On the other hand, opening up about these disturbing facts can also be therapeutic as long as they are revealed anonymously.
And the opportunity for strangers online to unburden themselves arose when Redditor _Lord_Infamous asked:
"What is a scary, unsettling fact about you?"
Certain facts about these Redditors are perplexing.
"I do not actually remember a decent chunk of my life, whenever I talk about most of my childhood I use words that leave room for mistakes and am generally using memories and ideas I've compiled from hearing other people say things about me."
"There is actually a large chunks of facts about myself that I only think I know, and don't have personal confirmation of."
Dead Or Alive
"I’m convinced with no evidence that my father is still alive and that my whole family is lying to me. I logically know he is not. But every knock on the door I open half expecting my father. Could be something to work through … but it’s not really affecting me day to day. My grandfather died and I thought I would feel the same way. Nope. He is dead and I miss him but he is dead."
Warning: Self-Harm Trigger
"Growing up I had a recurring nightmare set in my grandparents backyard looking at the back of their house. There was just something 'off' about the house. Something mildly sinister. I dreamt this over and over, many times over the years."
"In 2018, my dad (who now owned the house) went into the backyard to that spot and killed himself."
"I haven’t had the backyard dream since."
Nightmares Come True
"I had a recurring super vivid intense dream at like 4.... my uncle was chasing us around a labyrinth with a large knife... trying to kill me and my grandmother. 25 or so years later the same uncle (complete paranoid delusional schizophrenic) murders my grandmother at her condo... with the very nice chef knife I bought her for Christmas the year before..."
"Less scary and more shocking, but when I was 9 years old I survived a home invasion where I was shot 6 times. I played dead on the floor until the man left and called 911 and in my adrenaline rush I thought they couldn't find my house so I crawled with my left are swinging the wrong way and my right leg limp from nerve damage, all the way to the front door when he broke in from the back of the house."
"I lived with only my mother who unfortunately didn't survive. I vividly remember picking out the guy in a photo line up while recovering in the ICU."
"I am very lucky to have kept my left arm, I have 32 pins and screws to make up for my shattered elbow. My left leg has permanent nerve damage and I now have 'drop foot'. Despite my physical injuries and PTSD, I am doing very well."
We are not all born the same.
"I'm one of the lucky few with the CCR5-delta-32 mutation. Why is that relevant? It makes me immune to HIV and a handful of other pathogens, most notably the Bubonic Plague."
"I have 2 lenses in my right eye, so it focuses like binoculars. My doctor wrote a paper about it. Mostly blinded as a baby in my left eye. Dr suspected my right lense split then healed as 2 distinct lenses. Better than 20/20 in my right eye."
"When I was born, I was so premature that my dad, who had quite dainty piano fingers, could slide his wedding ring up my arm to my shoulder. (I weighed 2 lbs, born at 27 weeks)."
"I had 6 toes on each foot at birth and got them cut off you can see the place they cut them at."
People live with the unfortunate risk that their lives can be cut short at any given moment.
Ticking Time Bomb
"I have an enlarged aortic root. It's very unlikely, but it could spontaneously rupture leading to the medical term adjusts glasses... 'instantaneous death'. I would pass out, bleed to death, and then fall over. Dead before hitting the ground. And it could happen at any time. My wife is very uncomfortable thinking about it lol."
For The Sake Of Survival
"my immune system backfired and tried to murder me and almost succeeded. I now have to take multiple injections every single day all day or i'll die a painful death within a week."
"Just trying to write diabetes in the most bad-a** way."
A friend of mine once told me that the name I've known him by was not his real name.
He had gone by an alias, which everyone at work assumed was his actual name, to protect himself and his identity after he had been violently hunted down, stalked and threatened for his life for witnessing a murder.
The suspects involved were eventually caught and locked away for good.
I don't remember all the other details about the traumatizing incident because I was completely stupefied.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
We never leave two movies feeling the same way.
In some cases, we are so moved by what we just saw, that we are sobbing so loudly, we're getting concerned looks from our fellow moviegoers.
In other cases, we waste no time in leaving, as we have just spent two hours or so of our lives we'll never get back again watching something which could have been made by second graders.
And then, there are the times when we leave the theatre, and all we can think is, "what the f*ck?"
Not necessarily because it was bad, but because we can't process exactly what we just saw.
It could be something we can appreciate more over time, with repeat viewings... how many views did it take you to fully understand Inception? Be honest!
Or, we are befuddled beyond words as to how such an inane, amateurish creation ever saw the light of day.
"What is your "WTF did I just watch?" movie?"
Dystopian Doesn't Even Begin To Describe It
"You have a certain time to become married and if you fail to find a spouse you get sent to an asylum where you must find a spouse from among the other singles."
"If you again fail to find a partner, you must choose which animal you want to be turned into, and then they turn you into that animal."- Leemage
Chloë Sevigny Knows How To Pick Them...
A Podcaster's Worst Nightmare
With A Title Like That...
"Antichrist."- EwoksEwoksEwoksWillem Dafoe Smile GIFGiphy
Only 67 Minutes... But Plenty Of Gore
"Tetsuo the Ironman (would very strongly not recommend for people with weak stomachs)."- PeruvianPolarbear14
A Homicidal Car Tire... Yes You Read That Correctly...
Beyond Love, Beyond Death...
Glad It Didn't Disappoint... I Guess?
"Salo, or 120 days of Sodom."
"Granted, I had a phase where I was purposely looking for disturbing movies and this one sure didn't disappoint."- Reddit
Was The Title An Actual Apology?
"Sorry to bother you."- kappaidan
Darren Aronofsky At His Strangest...
"Mother."- dank-yharnam-nugsjennifer lawrence mother movie GIF by mother!Giphy
Meet The Parents gone wrong...
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things."- Vandalatwork
Charlie Kaufman Strikes Again!
"Being John Malkovich."- getlough
Not The Kind You're Thinking Of...
"Teeth."- timyorbaHappy Dance GIF by benjamin lemoineGiphy
One thing that can be said about all these movies, those who see them will never forget them.
Which may or may not be a good thing...
Now, which film should we add to this list?
Franklin D. Roosevelt once famously said, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Words of encouragement to all Americans during his inaugural address, as America was in the midst of the great depression, with countless people having lost their jobs, their homes, and even their will to live.
While America did, indeed, bounce back, it hasn't stopped people from constantly living in fear.
Sadly, we're not talking about unfounded fears, such as ghosts or superstitions.
Unfortunately, there is plenty to be afraid of in this world, and horrifying evidence to prove it.
"What is a fact that scares you?"
"That something like close to half of murders reported in the US are never solved."
"That’s just of the reported ones."- YAYtersalad
It Could Happen To Anyone
"Any day, you could have a stroke and lose all your autonomy and become as dependant as a baby."- FrenchMaisNon
"That any of us could have a brain aneurysm right now and not even know it's coming."- becomingNope
Just The Way Things Work
"The number of people older than me will never increase."- Vinny_Lam
At Least You Wouldn't Feel It?
"For some reason, the fact that you poop/pee yourself when you die."
"I know that it won’t matter because I’ll be dead, anyway, but I’ve always been weirded out by that."- EllieK24601
Cherish Your Time Together
"That my parents and grandparents are slowly getting older and it's just a matter of time before I start losing them all one by one and there's nothing I can do about it."- Kysman95
When Nothing Ever Seems To Be Alright...
"I logically know I am fine, but my anxiety won’t let me accept that."- HotSpicedChai
Next Time you Think About Putting It Out There To The Universe...
"That outside of our planet, zero of our achievements/history/language/currency matters."
'It can all be erased in a second and there would be no knowledge of us ever existing in the first place to anyone else in the universe."
"We are meaningless outside of this sphere."- EmergencyNoodlePack
It Really Doesn't Seem That Long
"We only live for about 4,000 weeks."-_Light_The_Way
"That Dopplegangers exist."
"They say that there are at least a couple people in the world that look exactly like you without being blood related and I met mine."
"He was a f*cking criminal and got into trouble so many times with the law that I myself had been mistaken for him three times."
"The only difference was me having sleeves."
"My tattoos saved me from being mistaken for him."
"I was brought in and put in a lineup, and she said herself, 'that looks like him, but he doesn’t have a single tattoo'."
"4 hours later they found him and the sheriff’s department was dumbfounded that we weren’t twins."
"Like looking in a mirror."
"I was released, and a more than needed apology was given by the chief of police and arresting officer."- TinyoneT33
They Need Something To Keep Them Going
"The most well-educated and intelligent people are also those most afflicted with issues like despair, depression, and existential crises."
"Reality is a nightmare of horrors lying just beneath the surface, and the more aware of how things really work you are the more truly miserable you are, generally."- Emperor_Cartagia
It Could Be Comforting?
"When I die, I will be able to hear what people are saying, my last bit of brain activity will be processing those words or sounds and they will be echoed into my forever dream."
"Hope nobody says anything f*cked up.
"According to recent studies, auditory stimulus is the last sense to be lost, it's anticipated that people actually listen long enough to hear they’re pronounced dead."- TheUpsideDownWorlds·
Where Does The Time Go?
"The fact that the past 10 years of my life have flown by, and it means I got about a decade before I become the same age as my parents when I was born."
"Meaning that I’m just slowly going to age till it’s time for me to pass."
"And I still don’t even know why I’m living or what I want to do, or even feel like I’m happy."- Unhookingsnow6
"I've lived over half my life already."- Lucky-11
It's hard not to be scared by any or all of these facts.
But being afraid of just about anything almost never does anyone any good, as there is also plenty in this world to be hopeful and optimistic about.
As famously quipped in Baz Luhrmann's classic Strictly Ballroom, "A life lived in fear is a life half lived."