Saturday, 5 December 2020

Post covid deaf communities.



I  wonder what deaf are doing with all these clubs closed and social interaction limited at present?   I think covid has to refocus deaf priorities and its near-total reliance on other deaf for a social life has to change.  Even when covid is tamed there won't be much of a deaf norm to go back to. E.G. Small clubs may never re-open, larger ones will have to operate quite strict health criteria for some time to come which will limit how many can attend them.  The UK suggests May June 2021 before doors will be opened, but 2022 before any sort of norm is apparent.

Those deaf who have rooms hired in churches or paid for by local authorities may find those areas unwilling to reopen without guarantees of social distancing etc and if the deaf are able or willing to comply with quite stringent insurance rules as well.  Deaf could be stuck between a rock and a hard place, as the state, the local authorities, the NHS, and the various organisations (or even pubs), that accommodate deaf as was the norm before demand safe socialising.

One wonders if any but the larger clubs have that ability. The nomadic nature of the deaf (who commute from one deaf club to another every week as part of their lifestyles), will have to change too, the tier system ensures deaf must comply.  I did read yesterday in the UK, public houses and clubs may insist on the proof you are covid free and vaccinated before you can enter, would that apply to clubs for the deaf too?

The issue seems to be about rights and freedom, UK are not willing to carry cards etc which infringes they feel on their civil liberty, but covid cares for none of those things and business etc, has to protect itself (As does the deaf individual), would you attend a deaf club that had no social distancing and little respect for the danger of re-infection?  The nature of deaf interaction is face to face and old habits die hard.  Can small deaf clubs AFFORD to be covid secure? Has the people to ensure it?

A lot of commitment and training is needed too.  At the time of writing there is no suggestion that proof or vaccination or that you are covid free, will be issued or, if everyone must have either, it is still choice.  Of course, tests currently are no guarantee you are clear either and the new vaccines needs a few years before we see how effective they are.  E.G. There was no proof issued to deaf people who did not want to wear masks so they could lip-read, and a lot got abuse for being an issue of infecting others, clear masks never took off and many deaf didn't wear those either.