Thought for the day 3 March

3 National hearing day
During the pandemic restrictions we have become accustomed to wearing face coverings when we go into shops etc. Sometimes we have ‘fun’ trying to recognise someone behind their face covering. We also find challenges trying to have a conversation when you have to stand 2m apart and talk from behind 3 layers of material. Many of us have found that our hearing isn’t as sharp as we like to think. A number have also found that in the past they have subconsciously been relying on lip-reading to assist their hearing – and not being able to see someone’s mouth makes it harder. They have also found a similar problem when using a platform like Zoom, concentrating on a postage-stamp size face that can shuffle around the screen. Maybe in coming months many more of us will have to sign up for hearing tests.

The World Health Organisation has designated 3 March as a worldwide hearing day to raise awareness of how to prevent deafness and hearing loss, and provide hearing care across the world. This year’s theme is ‘hearing care for all’. The key points are: i) for policy-makers – it is unacceptable for people to be living with hearing loss or ear disease; timely action is needed; there needs to be investment in cost-effective interventions; they need to act to integrate person-centred ear and hearing care with national plans for universal health coverage; ii) for the public – good hearing and communication are important at all stages of life; hearing loss can be avoided through preventative actions; people at risk should have their hearing checked regularly; those with hearing loss should seek care from their health provider. Further information is available on the NHS and WHO websites www.who.int/activities/celebrating–world–hearing–day

Lord, hearing loss can be very isolating – not following the conversation in a group, not being sure whether to laugh or look serious. Maybe at times it could even be dangerous. And there are so many things in life, from children talking to birdsong, that enrich the quality of our lives. Thank you for the great advances made in addressing hearing loss. Inspire policy-makers to address the issues around better hearing care for everyone (particularly in middle and lower income countries). Inspire people who have hearing loss, or know people with hearing loss, to seek help to improve the quality of their lives

PS Don’t forget, Friday 2pm Zoom service for World Day of Prayer. Contact Ian Johnson or Susan Anderson if you would like the pass code

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