What does wearing masks during COVID-19 (COVID) and financial wellness have to do with each other? Well, quite a lot if you think about it. Wearing masks helps prevent the spread of COVID. Preventing the spread of COVID helps flatten the curve. Flattening the curve helps the economy open up again. Safely opening the economy helps our financial wellness, both individually, locally, and globally. The industries affected by COVID are countless. The people who make up the workforces of those countless industries are suffering. People need to work. People also need services.
How a Visit to the Dentist During COVID is Connected with Wellness, Including Financial Wellness
I want to micro-focus this blog post on an experience I recently had at my dentist, the wonderful Dr. Gloria Alvareztorre DMD at Real Smile in North Miami, Florida. That’s Dr. Alvareztorre and her team in the photo above. Now, I can’t say going to the dentist was ever my favorite pastime, even before COVID. Yet, after dental offices closed due to the virus, I was more than ready to get my teeth cleaned but a little nervous about the whole procedure. Well, on July 2nd, my nervousness was put to a halt upon entry into the Real Smile office. Everyone that came into contact with me wore masks, gloves, and plastic face shields. The doctor, her dental hygienist, and dental assistants all also wore protective clothing.
Dr. Alvareztorre and her team were risking their personal safety to provide dental services to me. Now, of course I followed their COVID rules and regulations and wore a mask, cleaned my hands, and social distanced until that was not possible when my X-Rays and dental cleaning began. No, I don’t exhibit any symptoms of COVID and to the best of my knowledge, I do not have the virus but people can be asymptomatic and there is no foolproof way, without a COVID test, to know if you carry the virus.
My point is, Dr. AlvarezTorre and her team risked their safety to provide me with a needed service. It’s a catch-22 because of various reasons. Dr. AlvarezTorre and her team want to take care of their patients and they also need to earn a living but there is an inherent risk. So I believe my duty, as their patient and as a mindful human being, is to mitigate their risks and my own by wearing a mask and social distancing when I am in public. I do go running outside in my neighborhood without a mask but I am by myself and I do not get close to anyone on the street.
We Are All Connected
We are all connected and COVID has shown us that in so many ways. Our economy is connected to our health. When our health is failing, our economy is also failing. So, yes, I believe wearing a mask in public and mitigating the risk for yourself and others is part of what will get us back on the financial recovery path. I know it is more complicated of course than just wearing masks, hand washing, and social distancing but those acts help and at this unprecedented time in history, we need all the help we can get.
When my local post office installed plastic screens between the employees and customers and required everyone who entered the post office to wear masks, it became more safe. When my hair and nail salon take my temperature, have sanitizer always available, require everyone to wear a mask, social distance, and wipe down surfaces, it is more safe. When employees and shoppers in grocery stores all wear masks, sanitize hands, and respect social distancing it is more safe. The list goes on and on.
This is not how it will be forever but the world as we knew it has definitely changed. Do I want to hug people, go out dancing, have dinner parties, and go to the movies? Yes, I do, but I have to wait awhile. We all have to wait awhile. We are in this together and we can come through this together. I believe we can actually grow through this together, even transform our ways to healthier, more mindful ways of being. This mindfulness can also translate to financial wellness. As financial wellness begins in the mind. You have to change your thoughts about money before you can change your actions regarding money.
A special shout out to Dr. AlvarezTorre, and the rest of her team, Katia, Maipu, Annicia, and Altagrace. Thank you for caring about me and all your patients and making me feel safe. I appreciate all of you and all the service providers who risk their safety to take care of us. Let’s reciprocate, and help flatten the curve by wearing masks, washing our hands regularly, social distancing, and being kind to one another.
Sincerely and with gratitude,
Susan, The MoneyMaestra