It was terrifying. My palms were sweating and my heart was racing. I kept telling myself: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
What was causing all this distress? I was going to the dentist. Was it for a special procedure? Nope, not at all. Just a routine cleaning; a procedure I have gotten hundreds – no, thousands – of times before. So, what made this one so stressful? It was the first time in three months that I ventured outside my home. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been self-isolating and this is the first time I’ve tried to return to some sort of normalcy in the past 90 days.
In one way it felt good to believe that this whole experience was behind us; in another way I was fearful that we have not seen the last of it yet.
As I entered the dentist’s office, there were some obvious changes. Hand sanitizer at the door, required face masks for everyone who was in the room, plastic panels separating me from the people who sat behind the desk. After my temperature was taken, my dental hygienist entered looking like someone straight out of a Twilight Zone episode – hair wrapped in a turban, face mask and head gear with a shield just like a welder would wear.
Once I got used to this new look, and we started talking, everything seemed normal again. There were stories told and lots of laughter. The surroundings may have changed, but the people did not. As I left, the women at the front desk waved and I wished them a good day. It made me realize that even though so much has changed in the last 90 days, some things will always stay the same. I got great comfort in realizing that my world of friendliness and compassion and hope was still there. My world was still filled with great beauty.