On the morning of March 16, 2020, I walked into my office and did something I never thought I would do. With tears in my eyes and an overwhelming sense of disbelief I announced that we were closing the office due to the novel coronavirus called COVID-19.
Although there were only a few confirmed cases in CT on that morning, I felt a tremendous responsibility to do my part to “flatten the curve.” I estimated that we were going to be closed for two weeks and at that time, two weeks of being closed was mind blowing and unimaginable. In hindsight, it’s pretty funny that I was worried about two weeks considering the fact that we were actually closed for over 10 weeks.
Where’s the good in all this?
Even though the journey I describe in previous blog posts was challenging, I must admit that there has been some “good.” Here are just a few good things that came out of the last 365 days:
- The collective trauma of the past year has resulted in our work family growing closer together. The once in a century experience, combined with sudden unemployment, followed by the suffering (and suffocation) of the enhanced PPE, plus the fact that work became the majority of our socialization outside of our family has bonded us in a way that no “team building” activity ever could have. We now take turns getting coffee for one another, we find ourselves pitching in to help get all of our kids to school safely, and Ashley’s baby now has 7 babysitters ready and waiting to snuggle him at a moment’s notice. I have heard more “thank you’s” and seen more pitching in than ever before. Basically, we are eager to let each other know how much they are appreciated and we all work really hard to keep one another’s spirits up.
- Restricting entrance into the office means that we can turn up the music and have a little bit of fun in the middle of the work day as we wait for the next wave of patients to arrive. If you arrive to your appointment early you may or may not see dancing and/or hear singing.
- During the 10 weeks of shut down my desk was the cleanest and neatest it has ever been. I was 100% caught up on lab cases, treatment plans and all paperwork. It turns out that the best way to get all of your work done is to not be actively working. HAHAHAHA! This has inspired me to clean my desk as much as possible.
- We have learned new ways of connecting with all of our patients through social media. During lockdown we started making fun videos and since we have been back, we have continued. Be sure to ask Lindsey about her TikTok videos. She now has thousands of followers!
- The process of getting ready for work has been stripped to the barest of essentials. There’s no need to fuss over hair that is going to be covered by a surgical cap and there’s no use in putting on a full face of makeup when we now wear a mask at all times. Our new “uniform” makes us all look alike and frankly even we have a hard time telling who was who at times. There was one instance where a patient had an entire conversation with one person thinking they were talking to another. That’s when we decided to put buttons on our gowns so we could be recognized.
- Last but not least, this past year has allowed us to get to know many of you on another level. Between the mandatory pre-screening and the extended appointment times we have embraced the opportunity for great conversation and we have felt a wonderful sense of connection to our patients.
The end of this pandemic seems more reachable every day. While we all must remain vigilant, I feel that the worst is behind us. All of us at Farmington Village Dental feel a tremendous sense of hope for the future!