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I’ve always been terrified of losing my hearing – but when it happened, I craved silence | Fiona Murphy

Most people assume that when you go deaf the world gradually gets turned down. The reality is anything but

Since childhood I feared losing my hearing. I imagined that it would feel like being dragged down by an undertow. A violent, terrible force that I would have to resist with arms and legs kicking. And if submerged, my body would be cut off from sound.

My fear came from a specific place: I was born profoundly deaf in my left ear. Logically, I reasoned, that I was one ear closer to complete hearing loss. This rationale was reinforced by doctors and audiologists. At each check-up they would say, “Fiona, you must protect your right ear.”

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Social care cuts mean thousands with dementia taken to A&E, charity says

There has been a 27% increase over four years in avoidable illnesses and injuries caused by failures in care

Tens of thousands of people with dementia are taken to hospital each year for emergency admission because inadequate social care has left them unprotected from infections, falls and dehydration, an investigation has found.

There has been a 27% increase over a four-year period in avoidable illnesses and injuries caused by failures in care for those living with dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society, which sent Freedom of Information Act requests to all NHS trusts.

Related: Calls for national care service as crisis leaves homes in critical state

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MP says Covid inquiry must examine delay in adding India to ‘red list’

No 10 and health secretary deny politics was involved in decision to wait before toughening travel rules

A public inquiry must examine whether Boris Johnson’s decision to delay adding India to the travel “red list” of countries was influenced by his desire to start trade talks with Delhi, the chair of a cross-party Covid inquiry group has said.

It came as Downing Street and the health secretary, Matt Hancock, denied politics was involved in the decision to wait 17 days before putting India on the list of countries requiring mandatory hotel quarantine, after Bangladesh and Pakistan were added despite having significantly lower Covid case rates.

Related: How worried should we be about the Indian variant of Covid-19?

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David Hockney is right about Derrida

David Hockney | Tracey Emin | David Cameron | Classical music

Hockney is in trouble in these pages (Letters, 11 and 13 May) for thinking it was Derrida’s quip that painting is dead, when the sentiment has been around for 400 years. But in a recent catalogue to a show of his work in Paris, the French curator Donatien Grau explains that Hockney’s reference to Derrida is to the gist of Derrida’s set of essays La Vérité en Peinture of 1978. This gist is that “the legitimacy of painting as representation” had been broken at the time of the “birth of modernity” – a claim that Hockney manifestly resists and in his work triumphantly refutes. His reference to Derrida is precise and apt.
Jonathon Brown
Duranus, France

• Tracey Emin – what a star (‘This is mine, I own it’, 13 May). Having been decolonised and stomatised a couple of years ago, I found that it is surprising what you take in your stride and what you miss after such a change in your bodily functioning. For me, the greatest loss has been the relaxing 15 minutes on the loo in the morning with the Guardian crossword. I do it in bed now before getting up, but it’s not the same.
James Lindesay

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What threat does Indian Covid variant pose and do vaccines work against it?

The number of identified cases of the B.1.617.2 variant in the UK has more than doubled in a week

The number of identified cases of the Indian variant in the UK has more than doubled in a week, from 520 to 1,313, according to the most recent figures. The areas with the highest numbers so far include Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen, Erewash in Derbyshire and Bedford, all in England, and Moray in Scotland.

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