To say that the last three months have been like nothing I have ever experienced in may career (or life, for that matter), would still be a massive understatement. It seems like out of nowhere our lives were turned upside down, from our usual daily routine of treating patients, visiting with families, running a small business to a mandatory shut-down and stay-at-home order.
Like most businesses, we had to furlough many of our employees and remained closed except for emergency visits, with no real definitive back to work date. We were faced with an ethical dilemma of whether to order PPE supplies to be ready for our eventual reopening, versus knowing that we might be taking valuable supplies from the front lines and people who needed it most. We did use our time wisely to clean and organize the office, complete some long overdue projects, and attend multiple webinars on everything from computer software and PPP loans to CDC guidelines for eventual reopening.
When Governor Northam did not extend Public Health Mandate 52, that essentially gave us the green light to reopen and see patients for non-emergency procedures. We decided to wait one extra week so that we could be sure we had proper PPE, and to implement the new office protocols we needed to have in place for the protection and safety of our patients, their families, and our staff. Our “Grand Reopening” took place on May 4.
We have always prided ourselves on the fact that we go above and beyond when it comes to cleanliness and sterilization of our offices, but here are some things we are doing now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We continue to look to our governing bodies — including the federal government, public health agencies, dental and orthodontic associations — for guidance and we plan to strictly adhere to current recommendations moving forward.
The truth is, the “New Normal” today most likely will not be what it will be next month, which will be different than the next 6 months, which will most likely be different than next year. No one really knows what the new normal will be, but rest assured we will do everything we can to still provide the best experience we can in a safe, healthy environment as we continue to navigate through these uncharted waters.
On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone who is a part of our practice family for their understanding and patience over the past couple of months and moving forward. Current and past patients, families, and most importantly my staff, who, without their hard work and dedication, we would not be able to be open and operating today. I have said it before but I will say it again – without them there would be no Commonwealth Orthodontics, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Stay safe everyone, and have a great summer!