There’s nothing like a spell of plague to make one doubt one’s sources of information. And mainly, I mean the news.
On Saturday, I bit into some fruit, only to have one of my dental crowns pop out. Inwardly, I cursed. Can the crown be glued on? Will a new super-expensive crown be necessary? Or is the underlying tooth rotten, requiring an implant? Fortunately, my dentist was able to see me today. It looks like I’ll need a new crown.
During our conversation, I learned a few things that seem to go against most of the news stories I’ve been seeing lately about the coronavirus. (And really, it seems that over 75% of the news is about just that.)
My dentist came in just for me, her office being closed for more routine dental procedures. So the atmosphere was more casual than usual. We started talking about the “plague” that is gobbling up all the news services. She expected that she expected that the virus would be old news within a couple of weeks. All viruses have a life of somewhere around four to six days. The two weeks isolation described by the news services was because many people are infected by contact with multiple carriers of the virus.
It turns out that the UCLA Dental School, with which she is affiliated, will be re-opening within a couple of weeks. Why would they do that if there is any substantial danger to the dentists?
She re-iterated the usual advice about washing one’s hands, but added one very useful piece of information: Be sure to dry your hands. Viruses like a moist, warm environment. Social distancing generally works. The main danger is being in close contact with someone who cynically does not believe in changing his or her lifestyle, which is a danger to the sick and elderly, who are most likely to die of the virus.