Masks are a barrier against the coronavirus. They also pose a major hurdle for deaf people

I don’t remember the first time a hearing person got angry at me for not understanding them, but I remember the first time that anger scared me.

I was waiting on the subway platform on my way home from school one night when a hand clamped down hard on my shoulder, spinning me around. When I turned, there was a stranger too close to me, his eyes wide and his breath hot on my face as he shouted at me. I was terrified, and it took me a while to understand what he was saying — he had made a pass at me and was angry that I hadn’t responded.

“Deaf, I’m deaf!” I shouted back, pointing to my ears.

For a moment the man looked confused. Then he let go of my arm and walked back down the platform, as though we’d never interacted at all.

Read the rest of the story at