I haven’t written in awhile…I think I went back to work as a dental assistant three weeks ago. At first the recommendations from the state weren’t allowing us to do any procedures that create aerosols (fillings, crowns, etc.) but this week things have changed slightly and we can do all procedures.
I was having to take my temperature three times a day…now it’s just once…but since this all began we’ve been wearing full surgical gowns, level three masks (or N-95s), surgical caps, full face shield and gloves. I used to only have to wear my scrubs, a normal mask, gloves, and some eye protection. It’s strange how quickly I became used to wearing all of the extra stuff, taking patients temperature, and being even more aware of “clean” and “dirty”.
The first official week back to work with all the new requirements was overwhelming… I really feel for the medical community…its a lot to process, plan for and execute. We had one patient get upset that he had to wash his hands and fill out a COVID questionnaire so he stormed out of the office and didn’t get his teeth cleaned.
It’s interesting living in this little slice of heaven, the End of the Road, Homer,Alaska, because most people are either all for COVID-19 precautions, happy to wear a mask and social distance, or believe that this whole virus is a plot to take our personal freedom away and ruin the economy. I myself land in the middle…I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist.
I’m interested to see how the virus plays out this coming fall. Currently we have had really only one case in Homer that was from community spread (the other three that have been mentioned have details that make it clear that the people didn’t even reside in Homer). Testing is supposed to be free, or so we thought (or at least cheap) and I’ve been informed by several people that they are being charged a little over $1,000 dollars by the hospital for a test.
Summer is our tourist season, fishing season, where people from all over the world (yes all over the world I’ve met people from Germany and China who have come to Homer to go salmon and halibut fishing) to visit this place. This towns livelihood depends upon tourists buying from our local small town art galleries, shops, restaurants, boat charters, bear tours, etc. Normally during this time of year the “Spit” would already have hundreds of RVs parked along it’s edges. Normally I would be pulling my hair out sitting in traffic because the one road that goes in and out of town also goes to the “Spit” and is where our grocery store is located…it’s almost impossible to turn right in the summer, ha. I won’t lie I am enjoying the fact that I can live my life with a lot less people in town but I know it’s hurting others.
Even though tourists aren’t coming from out of state we still have people from Anchorage who take long weekends to get away from the city. Last night I saw two large RVs in our grocery store parking lot and this weekend I won’t take my dog to the beach during low tide or any “perfect” weather because there will be so many people.
I worry about the virus this fall because I am already more relaxed. I wear full PPE four days a week so by the time I’m done with work and get to the grocery store I really just don’t want to put on a mask again. The virus hasn’t really done much damage to the physical health of the people of Alaska and our enemy is invisible so it’s hard to believe there is a pandemic. With all the relaxed feelings and visitors from Anchorage and other communities I can’t help but wonder if Alaska is going to take a large hit from the virus this fall. I hope I am wrong.
I wish I knew who I could trust and believe as a source during this pandemic but I guess I just have to trust myself and do what I think is right for me and those around me.
Hope everyone is well. Thanks for reading!