Masked and Plexiglass…A winning (not) combination……
As a hearing-impaired person, I am once again on a “rant” rampage. There are just days when the struggle to hear in a “hearing world “just gets overwhelming. First, let me say that I have amazing hearing aids that have many great Bluetooth features such as background noise control and volume features. I am grateful for these because they give me the ability to actually hear. Without them, I cannot hear at all unless one is yelling in my ears.
So back to the “overwhelming”. Masks. Let’s face it, they muffle sounds. They prohibit one from reading lips as one speaks. Add to that a fast talker, a soft-spoken talker, a foreign talker and so on, and it is virtually impossible to understand what they are saying. Even people with perfect hearing tell me they struggle hearing with people such as this. Now, on top of masks, I must worry about hearing through plexiglass shields. Is it just me or does anyone else not hear properly when they are behind plexiglass? When I searched for this subject online, there was not a lot said about hearing impaired people and Plexiglass challenges. However, I did find out that plexiglass, like glass, creates a sound barrier. It all makes sense now, doesn’t it? We have a masked individual talking with muffled sounds coming from behind their mask and then that muffled sound gets filtered out even more when the Plexiglass sound barrier properties kick in.
As I was entering the Emergency room after my mother fell a few weeks back, I had to stop by the entrance where two security people masked up with plexiglass guards in front of them told me to put my purse on the counter before I walked through security. What I didn’t hear was when they told me to come back and get it. They became very impatient with me, like I was an idiot. Their actions made me snap. I grabbed my purse off the counter, pulled my mask down (required to wear when I entered) and told them loudly and that “it is difficult for hearing impaired people to understand what you are saying when masked and plexi-glassed up like you are.
They just looked at me. Maybe they didn’t hear me???
The joys of hearing impairment continue…..