I think the most overused word for 2020 was “pivot”.
And for as much as we thought that 2020 was behind us, 2021 has raised some serious concerns [at this point in time] regarding areas of complacency and predictability.
The latest Delta strain of the COVID 19 virus has forced some serious rethinking about future planning.
Just when Australia thought that we’d seen the worst of COVID 19, and the end of it, the Delta strain has impacted upon the whole country with some dramatic implications.
States and cities and towns and municipalities are being forced into lockdown situations.
“Stay at home” orders impacting severely on our way of life and our ways of doing business.
And these orders, which are for the good of our nation, for the good of our community, and for the good of the human race in general, are causing very serious issues not only for the financial well-being of our population but also for the mental well-being of our population.
Financially, not being able to do business in the manner that we have become accustomed to is causing great difficulty for many businesses.
Businesses such as wedding venues, cafes, restaurants and bars are severely affected by the social distancing and lockdown regulations.
Travel and holiday businesses are being hit hard.
In dentistry, dental practices are being asked to defer and delay non-urgent and unnecessary treatment.
What does that mean?
What does that mean?
Isn’t all dental treatment necessary?
Isn’t it better to remove the decay now rather than allow it to propagate and remove more of it in a month’s time?
And periodontal conditions?
Should we allow plaque and bacteria to accumulate and propagate more because some beaurocrat with very little [if any] understanding of the oro-systemic connection deems dental hygiene visits to be optional and “elective”?
Financially, what should a dental practice do?
Should the practice continue trading as best it can during these difficult times, or should the dental practice close its doors?
From what I’ve been seeing, the phones at dental practices are still ringing.
And although not every call is about making an immediate appointment, there is significant interest from the house-bound general public out there in calling to find out more information about certain dental procedures.
And this is simply because those members of the public are now in a position to be able to explore some dental work options.
Because they [the public] now have the time to do so [do the research].
And because they [the general public] are not travelling as much because of lockdown restrictions, they have the available funds to spend on “improving their smiles”.
What we are seeing is that for a dental practice to close up during lockdown is very naïve thinking.
Lockdown does not mean shut down.
In a similar vein, it is also very naïve for dental practices to believe that the post lockdown demand on dental services is a never ending sustainable event.
At some point in the post-COVID future, the population will begin travelling again, and dining out again, and socialising again, and going to the dentist won’t be as much of a priority as it is being allowed to be at this point in time.
Lastly, this wave of Delta related COVID 19 events has reminded us all that in times of financial difficulty, it is those who have been prepared for a downturn who have weathered these financial storms best, and have emerged out the other side with minimal collateral damage.
We must stockpile for the winters.
Because there will always be winters.
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