The New Normal

Just add gloves and constant handwashing and you get the picture. From booties to bouffant caps, scrubs to gowns, N95 masks and beard shaved off, this is my new normal.

On March 16th, we closed our office per the recommendations of the CDC and Governor of New Jersey. I spent the next almost three months watching webinars on how I would be able to return safely to my practice and insure the health and well being of my patients and staff.

I learned about aerosols, air quality, air movement and filtration devices, things I had never had to consider before. New surface disinfection methods, patient flow issues. I installed a separation barrier at the front desk, eliminated seating in the reception are to allow 8 feet of spacing, removed touch points such as magazines, instituted temperature checks, day before and at visit questionnaires, hand sanitizer, frequent disinfection of door knobs, etc.

I, like many others became a germ(virus)-a-phobe. Most of these newly adopted approaches will become permanent even after the Pandemic abates.

One of the things I miss the most is the ability to shake a hand or offer a reassuring (socially acceptable) touch, the things that people find comforting when visiting the dentist. I do look forward to the day when we return to some semblance of normalcy. Until then – look for the guy in the space suit!

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