Indra’s blog: About the New Normal and Finding a Healthy Balance.
Lockdown is being eased and slowly but steadily we are “allowed” to do more of the things that once were a given normality. The new normal however should be respected as not to fall back in a second wave of the pandemic and another tightening of lockdown regulations.
It has been hard on many people in a lot of different respects; often financially, but definitely mental hardship cannot be forgotten. The effect of just being in your own little bubble, which I found really rewarding to start with, but quite draining when the weeks progressed, works differently on everybody. For me it was the (maybe harsh) realisation that I definitely am a better, more patient mother when there is also some time for ME in the equation. Time to be able to get on with the work that also needs doing, time to be able to immerse yourself in what you love doing for yourself and not just for your kids. In my case that meant dentistry. There was an overwhelming supply of CPD (continuing professional development) material online, which I found difficult to access when there are three kids running/rolling around. Don’t get me wrong… I absolutely adore my three beautiful boys and I am immensely grateful that the universe chose me to be their mum. I just think it is important that the time available is clearly split, so when I am with my kids, that’s what they get: THEIR MUM. And not a professional that is trying to juggle having an online Zoom meeting with colleagues or do a webinar to stay on top of the newest in all the new regulations while shouting at her kids to be quiet and at the same time responding to work related messages (patient triage and medication prescribing) that need an urgent reply as well as trying to feed a bottle to the youngest family member, who should have been sleeping at this time, but decided today is the start of a new routine…. It all happened… a lot… and I am sure this was not just me….
As dental health professional it was frustrating not being able to help our patients with face to face care and instead having to rely on phone calls, zoom consultations and the prescription of temporary solutions. But dentistry has opened up again, at least for us it has fortunately, even though in a much slower pace. We managed to secure the right PPE (personal protective equipment) and get it fit tested to be safe for us and our patients. We are back to work, but as soon as we start to do anything that produces an aerosol (little water droplets in the air) we have to dress up like a bad lookalike of darth vader. It is very warm and can be tiring working in these circumstances so there for the temperature is kept around 16 degrees, which normally would not be a comfortable working temperature to me … We are not allowed to welcome our patients in the waiting room with a cup of coffee or tea and a nice long chat…. Officially we can’t even let you use the toilet facilities… The New Normal… is what it is called. It’s not a very welcoming Normal and definitely not a Berwick Smile Normal at all… but we are doing it for the very best cause… Being Safe Together.
Some things we learned from all this were very useful and we will keep those going forward. A Zoom call proved to be a real time saver for patients (less travel time and being able to do it from the comfort of their own home) while it still gives us a chance to spent a decent time with a patient to explain their treatment plan or other parts of their patient journey without being in the same room and potentially transferring something.
I did find another positive site to it all though. I think most people have found what is really important in life; To me it meant Finding a Healthy Balance. Time for family and the precious moments that come with that, time for yourself to regain energy and strength, but also time for work; The value that you can bring to others as a professional. Missing having close friends and family members around, going for dinner parties and meeting up; It was nice not to HAVE to do so much and run from appointment to meeting, but it is so good to be able to have that BBQ now with friends in the garden or just a chat with colleagues in the Berwick Smile kitchen…. Boy did I miss those cakes… ;)
Stay Safe Everybody… Let’s try to make this New Normal a short one…