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Day to day, people who are deaf or hard of hearing face many challenges doing tasks that many take for granted. Since the beginning of lockdown and social distancing, this has made tasks even more difficult and, at times, scary and confusing.

There were times before Covid-19 and the rules the government brought in that I found difficult. It has now become at lot more so. For health and safety reasons, the face mask and social distancing rules are obviously a good thing, but for our deaf community this has created a world where we cannot lipread or be within a distance where we can see person’s face to lipread. An example of this is when I had to visit my bank. It was a one in, one out procedure in place. A lady left so I walked towards the door prompting the security guard (wearing a mask) to shout and wave his arms in an aggressive manner. I was both confused and embarrassed.

This also happens at times when I’m visiting supermarkets. I have been at the till when the cashiers have spoken to me but with their facemasks on. I have been unable to hear or respond causing embarrassment, as I imagine they think I am ignoring them.

Most times when I explain I need to lipread they understand but it is still an uncomfortable situation to be in.

Other examples are when postmen and delivery staff come to my door.

I understand due to the rarity of these measures happening that these times are different but the disadvantages to being Deaf are increased. Maybe there should be more information explaining to industries the difficulties we face on a day to day basis but even more so during these difficult times.