[email protected]: Insights into life during the pandemic – Part 1

Matthias Joesch
Insights during the pandemic part 1

We asked a number of our Board and Committee members in different parts of the world to share their insights into life in lockdown. Despite the difficult situation, everyone manages to find something positive and important. Read, enjoy and take comfort in the fact that we are all dealing with the same basic uncertainties and take inspiration wherever possible.

Juan Blanco Carrión, Santiago de Compostela (Spain), ITI Research Committee

“When emergency status was declared in Spain on March 13 everything closed. We had to move fast to stock up on personal protection equipment but the practice is open now only for emergencies and we are at home like everyone else. I have been taking part in webinars, congresses and courses and also give lectures via our university online platform. Now it’s more important than ever to stay at home to reduce transmission and propagation. That means we have plenty of time for the family and there’s more time for reading, cooking, watching films alongside time spent on learning. And there will probably never be as good a time to write that article or review paper you’ve been thinking about for a while.”

Bo Chen, Beijing (China), Leadership Development Committee

“In Beijing, China, we have not had any new local cases (but cases coming back from abroad) for a while now after all the tremendous measures taken, so there is pressure from patients hoping to make appointments. The protection needed in the clinic has been upgraded compared to that before COVID-19. Masks, glasses, surgical gowns are all necessary equipment. The sterilization procedure is stricter and more time-consuming which means procedures take more time. We are starting to treat patients who need impressions without tooth preparation, only a few cases each day. But so far elective surgeries such as implant placement have been postponed until we have clear guidance from the government.

“While we still have lots of work such as online education (including university teaching etc.), I think it is very important to spend this precious time with your loved ones. Keep your spirits up and maintain a healthy lifestyle (balanced food and physical stretches). Follow anti-COVID-19 protocols. Be altruistic instead of selfish. Think of the greater good. It is good to be able to trust, to love and to contribute. Be confident that it will eventually come to an end with joint efforts from all sides of the world.”

Will Martin, Gainesville FL (USA), ITI Education Committee

“We started limiting patient visits March 12, sent our students home March 16 and the university moved to ‘essential personnel’ March 23. Since then we have been giving all our classes online. In terms of my consulting work, I have had to cancel or postpone all my lectures for March and April although two could be converted to webinars. Looking forward: our Study Club has already moved to Zoom format and our first meeting was held April 1.

“We are all asking ourselves how long this will last and are grateful for the services that keep us connected. I keep my mind on the ball by making a top-ten (or more) list of tasks but focus ONLY on the first 3. I work in 25- to 30-minute increments and then take a short break. What keeps me feeling upbeat? Family and friends every time.”

Martina Stefanini, Bologna (Italy), ITI Leadership Development Committee

“I live in in Bologna in Italy and we really began to feel the coronavirus here on February 22 when they closed the schools and universities. So since then I’ve been working remotely for the university – we closed our private practice on March 5. It’s difficult to be at home 24/7 without the possibility of getting out for a walk or to go jogging. Staying connected is not a problem, we have so many possibilities, but what I really miss is real contact with people – my parents in particular, as I can’t visit them. On the other hand, I have three daughters and now have the chance to be with them every day. Quality time with the family is the best way to take advantage of this situation. Another benefit: in “normal” life I don’t have the luxury of time to do much reading, whereas now… that’s something that makes me happy.”

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Matthias Joesch
Matthias Joesch
Matthias Joesch is the Head of Communications at ITI Headquarters.
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