Imagine a world where all the men around you are put on mute. No more mansplaining, cat-calling, or unsolicited advice to smile and nod at politely. For some women, it’d be a dream come true. For one woman in China, the Daily Mail reports, it was her startling reality after she awoke one morning and found she couldn’t hear her boyfriend.
After Jezebel’s coverage went viral, Twitter only had one question: Is it contagious?
Only identified in reports as Ms. Chen, the woman from Xiamen, China, had experienced a bit of nausea and ringing in her ears the night before. The next morning, it was like The Quiet Place—but just for men. She rushed to a hospital to see ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Lin Xiaoqing.
“She was able to hear me when I spoke to her, but when a young male patient walked in, she couldn’t hear him at all,” Xiaoqing told the Daily Mail.
The problem? Reverse-slope hearing loss, also known as “low-frequency hearing loss” for the type of sounds those affected can’t hear. More commonly, higher frequencies are the first to go for hearing loss patients, but one in nearly 13,000 patients are unable to detect deeper sounds, according to reports.
While reverse-slope hearing loss can be caused by genetics, Dr. Xiaoqing attributed Ms. Chen’s sudden seemingly gendered deafness to stress and lack of sleep. With proper rest, she should make a full recovery.
While Ms. Chen may be happy the incident is over, the women of Twitter are crossing their fingers that they can catch it next.
— lauren (@lexagriffinns) January 10, 2019
— 🌻sunflower 🌻 (@SesiLati) January 10, 2019
How did she catch it? pic.twitter.com/u2BgPKPHDs
— Dionne Ayanna (@DionneAyanna) January 10, 2019
please tell me this is contagious.
— wheres the compost (@wherescompost) January 11, 2019
Please figure out the etiology of this condition so we can induce it worldwide. https://t.co/dcMPfHO1YE
— Alaska (@ayamohammad615) January 11, 2019
if i can't die, can i at least get this medical condition https://t.co/O6d91FWN6W
— eva (@asensiosmarco) January 10, 2019
God is a Woman. https://t.co/9DZEm7ZC47
— Craig (@ShalveyC) January 10, 2019
Some are already calling it the next stage of evolution, a clear example of natural selection taking its course. Whatever it is, the women of Twitter want it to spread. And quickly.