Moan & Groan.

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There was a time when I was an admin for a pro BSL social media group, this group was known to the MP’s at Westminster as where the moaners and groaners go, its members sharing their experiences, barriers faced within the deaf community, for example, no interpreter being provided and so on. Quite rightly so. Their shared experiences was being gathered as evidence for a BSL Act campaign. I enjoyed being an admin for this particular group at the time because it helped empower those to start standing up and asking for their rights. Myself included.

During the current Coronavirus pandemic, the deaf community has once again started another (#whereistheinterpreter) campaign, pointing out the “lack” of an interpreter, but demanding one is *physically* in the same room as the Prime Minister or a couple of their advisors whenever a news broadcast or briefing is made. It is somehow no longer enough to have an in-vision interpreter provided… Therefore one was and is still being provided, regardless of who is paying their wages or contracting them to provide this accessible and inclusive service. The Government replied to the campaign by suggesting it was and is due to social distancing. Based on this, Wales, Scotland and other countries are apparently therefore endangering the interpreter who is in the same enclosed room as their VIP’s? Open to interpretation, whichever way one wishes to look at it.

Except now, there are those from the hearing world who are moaning about the in-vision interpreter getting into the way of any visual charts on the news etc etc. This is nothing new by the way. Even subtitles / captions get in the way on the news and other films, programmes being broadcast.

Except now, once again, there are deaf people moaning about the hearing people, moaning…

Whereas before, it would have all blown over, been tolerated by the majority and hey, tomorrow’s a new day.

It is extremely easy during uncertain times like the present, to permit ourselves, regardless of whether we happen to be deaf or hearing, to get carried away with our frustrations, focusing on and displacing negative energy,, somehow following the (m)asses once again. 

Stop letting any toxic divisions get in the way, creating higher barriers for both or either worlds to break down. Surely, people have better things to do than witness moaning in any sense or contribute to it?

Refocus people… reprioritise, tolerate and compromise. Show kindness – regardless.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Mask Warriors.

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Photos by SJ

I had to go into the local pharmacy this morning to pick up a prescription for my daughter, the staff were all wearing face masks.

Talking at me….

I’m patiently letting them know I’m not able to understand them as I am profoundly deaf and I cannot lip read them with their masks on.

They started pointing away here and there, still talking at me, I’m close to walking out but my daughter needs this prescription.

Someone gave me a pen and paper, I write down what I’m there for and who it’s for. Hand the pen and paper back… Prescription is found and she returns, trying to talk at me again.
I’m close to feeling emotional, anxious and once again I patiently remind her that I can’t hear her or lip read her because of her mask, or any of the mask wearing staff within that shop.

She realised and finally empathised, lowered her mask and spoke to me with a smile in her eyes.

What a world of difference that made. 😏

I had to go to the bank last week to sort an issue out, the staff in there were wearing those transparent facial shields – it may have been surreal still but it was certainly a lot more “friendly” and we could still easily communicate. I’d pick that over a face mask, any day.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

During The Coronavirus…

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Photo by SJ

As I went to check my bank balance by paying the ATM a visit, I saw an elderly man impatiently waiting outside the bank as I approached. I knew it was closed due to it being a bank holiday / VE Day so decided to inform him it was closed today. He didn’t want to believe me.

I pointed at the polite notice on the bank’s door… I said that’s today. He spoke to me whilst wearing his face mask… I’d previously told myself I wouldn’t communicate with anyone wearing a mask simply because I cannot lipread them. I decided to be patient with him as he was elderly and informed him that I am deaf, that I can’t see his lips while he’s wearing the mask. He laughed.

Hmmm.

I reminded him once more the bank is/was closed and he frustratingly left to do his shopping.

After obtaining my mini statement, as I started to walk home, there was such a noise which made me look up to the sky to see what it was and there I saw, the red arrows flying over in a V formation. 💖

The best things come to those who wait?

One day, our children’s generation will be saying, “During the coronavirus….”

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Stupid-19

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My oldest daughter had not been keen to venture out at all this past week so to get her out for a walk this evening was an achievement, at her pace, within her comfort zone of course. So we headed to the local park which is just down the road from us. I was feeling pleased to see her outdoors at a very difficult time, for any one of us.

We could see a family which had stopped a short distance away in front of us and I didn’t want to hang around behind them, waiting for them to get a move on so we went around them giving them a wide berth.

My oldest daughter overheard the mother and father… and told me what they had said once we had passed them. They were Americans.

The mother was apparently telling me off for going around them, that we were not two metres away, and did I not know they were infected? That English people are so rude…. The father stopped the mother from saying any more by saying “Oi!” to her.

One, we gave them a very wide berth, wider than most would have and have done,
Two, if she wants to use the language that “we are infected” whether it’s to describe herself, her family, the town, the city or country, my daughter would like to know just why you were outside? As of today, London has 16,721 confirmed cases. https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ae5dda8f86814ae99dde905d2a9070ae
If she was talking about herself, her family being infected, wtf were they doing outside?
Three, the English are rude? Erm… hello?!

Had I heard what she was venting at me, I would have turned around to her and signed “Welcome to London, England – enjoy your stay.” 🙄

Thankfully, my daughter enjoyed her quick walk, I had warned her beforehand that there are police monitoring the park so for her to actually see them there, was a strange experience. She mentioned enjoying her walk except for encountering “stupid”.

It’s a strange experience for each and every one of us. We can only deal with this the best we can.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Blue Gloves.

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Photo by SJ

Another definition for the term “Covidiots”.

There is unfortunately an increase of blue medical gloves being littered on our streets.

My local council have advised that anyone being observed littering, by an enforcement officer, will be fined.

If we could be mindful of any litter, littering, especially these blue medical gloves, regardless of whether it’s our own or others – that would help. 

These blue medical gloves are only supposed to be worn when one is potentially in direct contact with the virus / someone possibly inflected. Then one removes them and disposes of  – safely. Not for driving around in, walking in the park in as that just spreads further whatever germs are already on them. 

Please do not pick them up if you see any, but do contact your local council instead. Stay safe. ☺️

~ SJ (Sara Jae)