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Palos Pediatric Dentistry

COVID-19 Shutdown - Day 4

March 20, 2020
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Posted By: Richard Facko

Day 3 came and went, but it was really more about settling into new routines than anything else.  Honestly, it was a rough day.  Some (read: one) of my kids have a difficult time transitioning to new routines, whether it is school starting or school ending.  Yesterday was just one of those days.  In the end, we all agreed to get along, and we came up with a daily schedule/routine, subject to change.  It seems to have helped today.  But too small of a sample size to say if it is going to work long-term.  Here's a shapshot:

Happy First Day of Spring!!  I opened the kitchen window this morning to listen to the birds, but it was just too cold so I enjoyed some warm silence.  Coffee was delicious this morning.  I think it ended up being a blend of Zambia and Gesha (there was some left in the grinder when I dumped in a new batch).  I really can't start my day until I've had at least one cup.  My daily limit is two cups, but once in a while I can sneak in an afternoon zip...  I'm down to just a few varieties to roast, so I hope that UPS keeps delivering when I need to order more.  I mentioned sourdough bread in my last post.  Here's the results.  I wish I was a better photographer.  And I'm going to lose too much jelly through that giant hole, yikes!  Always something to practice...

In talking with and reading about various people involved in both local and nation-wide school districts, it feels less and less likely every day that schools will be able to re-open before the end of the school year.  I hope this isn't true, but on some level there just isn't a way around it.  Hopefully the e-learning becomes more robust as we have more time to prepare and settle in to our new normal.  But really, I feel for the eighth graders and high school seniors who are missing out on so many milestones that we all cherish from our childhood.  I am sad for them, but kids are resilient, and they will find ways to commemorate these milestones that we never would have imagined.  It certainly will be something they will never forget.

The American Dental Association has modified/updated their recommendations and practice guidelines almost constantly.  They have very clear definitions of "emergency dental care" that exclude nearly everything in pediatric dentistry.  It has really been narrowed down to pain, swelling, and trauma.  And even then, if treatment can be delayed with pain medication and antibiotics, that is their recommendation until things calm down.  We really are completely shut down, along with all other dentists in the US.  Most of us have a little slush fund to use for emergencies, but I'm not sure there is anyone who would have anticipated this level of impact on our practices.

Some new laws have come out of Washington DC in the past 24 hours.  Undoubtedly, these lawmakers have the public's best interest in mind.  But when bills get passed that were created in only a few days time, there are inevitably going to be problems.  I spent some time sifting through things today and it doesn't look good for small business so far.  I hope things get modified before the law takes effect on April 2, but I know one thing about Washington, which is that I don't know anything about Washington.

I sent another email to Christ hospital today.  I have this internal conflict between staying healthy and spending time with my family versus finding meaningful employment in a time of crisis.  Cassie says I should stay home and we will figure it out on our own.  I don't have the right answer.  Here's a look at my upcoming schedule:

We did some math, science, and fitness today.  The kids are enrolled in the "School of Hard Knocks".  It really makes me appreciate our teachers.  Speaking of teachers...  Ours in District 128 have been amazing.  We get daily emails from almost each of the kids' teachers, including the "specials" like art, music, and social emotional learning.  These teachers are taking time out of their own chaotic lives to spend helping our kids.  When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

"It never gets easier, you just go faster".  In school, I always gave myself the illusion that "things will be easier when...".  I was always chasing the next goal, feeling that once it was accomplished I would be on easy street.  After residency I thought I would have it made...  Finally a few months into my first job I quit chasing easy street.  It was never going to get easier.  But it was going to become more fulfilling, enjoyable, fun, exhilarating, and every other adjective I can't think of right now.  But not easier.  Things that are easy aren't typically worth doing.  I felt strong for 90 minutes on the bike today, because it wasn't the hardest part of my day.  Now my legs hurt.

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