“I don’t want to be bothered by noise. I’m tired of hearing awful things.” I do not complain anymore… well, about noise at least. I am now deaf. I see smiling faces but cannot hear laughter. I am able to sense concern and fear, but no longer can I hear someone’s cries and screams. Spoken discourse differs from written because one is able to establish emotionally the direction of the conversation through voice. The inflection of one’s voice can change the form of the words to express particular attributes. “She talks a lot,” can be said with a somber tone because it is factual. If it is said with sass, someone finds the girl’s gabbing to be an annoyance.
Life has not changed drastically. Most of what I did as a hearing person I am able to do now, but I miss “smaller things.” I miss ordering takeout over the telephone and waking up to birds chirping. I even miss being awoken by the sirens on emergency vehicles late at night. I am not alone in this soundless world; everyone is deaf. Everyone has fallen victim to a terrible virus. No one is certain as to how or why the virus came about.
The deafening virus is viewed both positively and negatively. I find comfort in sharing my experience with friends, family, and even strangers. Everyone throughout the world is facing a similar situation: life without sound. Deafness has always existed; there are auditory teachers and speech therapists that have been educated and trained to assist individuals experiencing partial or total hearing loss. Unfortunately, the world population outnumbers these individuals, and they, too are deaf. Hearing aids and cochlear implants are available, too, to assist with hearing loss. However, to maintain these devices can be costly, and in the case of cochlear implants, invasive surgery is required.
Documented as early as the fifth century B.C. in Plato’s Cratylus, groups of deaf people have used sign language: “If we hadn’t a voice or a tongue, and wanted to...
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