Richmond Times-Dispatch

Dear Abby

- — Universal Uclick Dear Abby: www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Dear Abby: As we return to work, businesses and expanded health care are opening up after the pandemic shutdown. We all are pretty much required to wear masks anywhere we go these days.

I am a deaf person and rely on lipreading for communicat­ion. Wearing a mask has shut out my contact with the hearing world as far as communicat­ion goes. I have been mistreated in more ways than one because masks do not allow me to lip read.

When I’m not able to have a sign language interprete­r with me, I bring a pen and pad everywhere I go to converse as best as I can.

I am a very patient person; however, people in the public sector are not being patient nor compassion­ate in helping us deaf individual­s. Please understand, we are TRYING to communicat­e as best as we can. We simply ask the community to be patient and either lower your mask to respond, or write your response. Yelling through the mask is pointless. — DEAF IN LAS VEGAS

Dear Deaf: I can only imagine how frustratin­g and isolating this has been for you and other deaf people. Reusable transparen­t masks and masks with clear plastic inserts (windows) are available on the internet. (NPR has posted a YouTube video demonstrat­ion.) I would urge anyone who has contact with deaf individual­s to go online and check this out. Some are marked, “Hearing Impaired.” I have considered buying some, if only so friends and family can see me in my entirety and know without question when I’m being facetious.

Dear Abby: I want to be a good friend, but I’m at my wits’ end. A friend has decided he is going to be a singer-songwriter, and he’s terrible. He keeps sending me videos, invitation­s to watch him perform online concerts, etc. I have tried offering constructi­ve criticism, which he deflects. Now he has recorded a CD, which he wants to send me at his expense. I do not want him to waste his money, and I don’t care to waste my time listening to it. Is there a gracious way out of this situation? — NOT INTERESTED IN THE WEST

Dear Not Interested: Yes. Accept the disc, which he is sending at his expense. And when he asks you for a compliment, give him one. In other words, be a friend, not a music critic.

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