Cannot Hear You Anymore

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Cannot Hear You Anymore

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The ability to hear, the ability to speak, the ability to process what has been said and respond. All of these changed for me in my classroom because of COVID. First the students went totally away, silence, and not the comforting restorative kind, but the absence of those that have become part of me. Suddenly gone silent. After some time they return but not near enough. Talking and hearing through masks obscures and diffuses the words. Can you please repeat that, repeated over and over again. Words cannot get through the first time. Or the second. Frustration sets in and lingers even now. Lack of hearing becomes a lack of understanding and lack of empathy. Habits of caring and concern atrophy. I have endless patience with my students, less so for the rest of my fellow man. The man that refuses to wear a mask across the aisle on a flight home, telling me to shut up when I request that he cover his face. Maybe he can hear, but just refuses to. The relative that isn't vaccinated but still wants to come to the funeral and risk others. They cannot hear my wisdom, though they might tell you that I cannot hear theirs. The masks come off but still the hearing does not return. The classroom starts to normalize, but the rest of the world does not.

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This item was submitted on May 26, 2022 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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