Do we need to relearn how to converse in noisy places?

Photo credit: Lorenzo Messina from Pexels

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

One of the benefits of the COVID-19 lockdowns was that the world became quieter. That included restaurant noise.

In most parts of the world, when restaurants reopened, it was outdoor dining only. As the pandemic subsided further, indoor dining was allowed, but only at reduced capacities. Servers wore masks. Sound was subdued. Ambient noise levels were down.

Fortunately, at least in the U.S., the COVID lockdowns are history in most states and things are reopening or have already reopened. That means more noise, in the skies, in streets, and in restaurants.

This report in the London Free Press suggests that listening training may help us better follow one conversation among many in a noisy environment.

I would much rather the efforts be spent in making restaurants quieter, not in trying to learn to hear better in a noisy environment.

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