The coronavirus-induced lockdowns across much of the world are, in many ways, traumatic. Despite the horrible reality, the new circumstances mean there is added incentive — and perhaps more time — to learn new skills. Yet whether it’s learning how to draw or how to code, the question of how to upskill successfully is tricky, especially where remote learning is involved. However, there will always be a good side during the bad times, thanks to corona virus, I can discover and learn new things that I never imagined before.
- Learn a language
An obvious one but what better way to start thinking about all the holidays you’ll be able to take once this is over than by learning the language of the countries you visit. Plus, it’s always useful to have on your CV and if working abroad has been on your mind, then get a head start by picking up the local lingo. Duolingo is a free to download, language learning app that you can spend as little as 10 minutes a day perfecting your Spanish, French, German, Japanese or even Latin. There are 30 languages to choose from and your plan is personalized to your ability across speaking, listening, reading and writing. You can also take virtual language classes too with italki. Users can choose from more than 130 languages to learn from a bank of 10,000 teachers. Each teacher has their own course price, by the hour, and you only pay for the lessons you take. It’s a more focused way of seriously committing to learning to speak fluently. Don’t forget about absorbing vocabulary through TV and film, Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services have many movies, reality TV and documentaries in languages like Korean, Hindi and Tamil, subtitled for support, but it’s a good way to get used to hearing a language in everyday conversation.
- Learn to cook
A skill that will need very little investment, improving your culinary prowess or starting from scratch with cooking is simple. There’s plenty of cookbooks to suit every palette, budget and diet. Flick through the pages of Jack Monroe’s brilliant Tin Can Cook: 75 Simple Store-cupboard Recipes for an easy one to start with, using ingredients you’ll already have in the cupboard, or are inexpensive to buy in corner shops, that won’t necessarily involve a trip to the supermarket. In it, Monroe refutes the idea that good food needs to be farm-fresh and expensive, while the recipes are easy-to-follow and rewarding. For coeliac sufferers, Hassle Free, Gluten Free by Jane Devonshire is a no-brainer for even the most amateur of cooks. Devonshire, the 2016 MasterChef winner, developed her skills for cooking without gluten following her son’s diagnosis with coeliac when he was two. Fifteen years later, she has compiled tasty dishes from hors d’oeuvres to dessert, all the while avoiding gluten cross-contamination during food preparation. No wonder it was IndyBest’s top choice for gluten-free cookbooksIf you’re conscious of an expanding waistline with all the sitting down indoors, try working your way through Eat Yourself Healthy by Dr Megan Rossi. Otherwise known as The Gut Health Doctor, Rossi brings her decade of knowledge as a dietician and clinical research to 50 recipes that will inspire your mealtime choices. Think fig and courgette banana loaf, chickpea crepes or tofu skewers, alongside helpful advice on dealing with IBS, bloating and intolerances.
For the more adventurous of cooks and lovers of all things Italian, why not try making your own pasta, for fresh, restaurant-quality plates of carbs, creamy sauces and comfort food. IndyBest loved the KitchenAid 5KSMPRA food mixer attachment pasta maker for how speedy and simple the process was. It’s three attachments that slot into an existing KitchenAid, pricey at £155, but totally worth it for pasta that would make Nonna proud.
- Learn to dance
Up your dance game with at-home classes, you can follow along with online, going at your own pace and being right next to a shower when you’ve worked up a sweat. Fly Ldn is a London-based yoga and pilates studio that also offers barre classes. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, it’s running free sessions on Instagram live (@fly_ldn) at 8am, 12:30pm and 6pm every day, with details of the next day’s class posted on Instagram every day. All you need is a makeshift barre (a window sill or even just wall will work) and a bit of space. Brighten up self-isolation with free online dance workshop hosted by the professionals at Sadlers Wells. It’s launched a new platform called Digital Stage where it will present performances and curate classes for children and older people to do at home, from 1 April. The teachers are artists from around the world and alongside the classes, you’ll also be able to watch dance performances from the likes of BalletBoyz and Rumpelstiltskin by balletLORENT, all shows that were due to run at the theatre pre-coronavirus.
- Learn to paint or draw
Continuing with a creative outlet, art classes and online tutorials are in abundance, but can also be done off the cuff as long as you have a canvas and colours to work with. Drawspace offers free and paid drawing lessons for beginners, intermediate and advanced artists, and cover everything from contour drawing to symmetrical design. YouTube channel WowArt, is also an easy resource to take advantage of during self-isolation with its 30-minute tutorials using household items like cotton buds, toothbrushes and spoons. Watercolour sets, oil-paints and chalks can all be found for little expense online, and are also a useful lesson to incorporate into home-schooling and keep kids of all ages occupied. If all else fails, grab a colouring book. Calligraphy classes are another option to consider, Obby offers free classes and beginner sets of a nib, straight pen and black ink costing £14, which are an affordable way to get started. It’s a great tool to perfect if you’re planning a wedding and want to create the invitations yourself. In light of the coronavirus, it’s also hosting online group watercolour, photography and mandala flower drawing classes from £10 per person for upwards of an hour.
- Learn photography
Avid photography fans or those new to the craft can pick up tips, polish existing skills and further your interest with an online photography class. While the newest iPhone has cameras to rival a DSLR, if it’s a skill you want to invest in, IndyBest found the Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ200EB was well worth the price tag of £629.99. Compact in size but with a huge zoom lens (15x) and excellent battery life makes it spectacularly good for everything from wildlife to sports photography. So when you’re next in the garden, snap away. Once you’ve started shooting, sign up for Adobe Creative Cloud, for a little under £20 a month, you can have access to Photoshop and InDesign, along with other editing tools and access to Adobe tutorials in 20-minute video segments for you to follow along to.
- Learn to code
If coding is completely new to you, start with an online class such as Code Academy, which offers free classes and paid monthly memberships from £15.99 where you’ll be set projects, have access to step-by-step guidance by coding experts and peer support from other students, all without leaving the sofa. If it’s something you want to do together with your kids, try Detective Dot, for eight-year-olds and older, is focused on encouraging women to work in tech rather than the stereotypical dream of being a princess. The megapack for £18.99 includes a storybook that doubles as a lesson in coding, six STEM-based missions, stickers sheets, a personalised letter from the mock-CIA, membership card and a lifetime CIA membership to online missions and games.
- Learn to do make-up
If the boredom is setting in and you’re missing your beauty appointments for a touch of TLC, try teaching yourself to master nail art. Michelle Lee, editor-in-chief of beauty bible, Allure magazine, is a nail art aficionado who regularly posts her nail tutorials on Instagram, from the surreal goldfish patterns to bold tie-dye prints on polished fingers, often using only nail polish. As mesmerising as they are impressive, it’s a never-ending page of inspiration. While there are many makeup schools online to dust up on your smoky eye and colour matching skills, the best place we’d recommend is YouTube. Everything is free and there’s no shortage of experts to watch. Lisa Eldridge, pro makeup artist and global creative director for Lancôme, creates easy-to-follow tutorials for wearable looks using a mix of high end and affordable products from a woman who has touched every corner of the industry from editorial shoots to creating her own line of lipsticks – which FYI, are excellent. There’s also the big YouTube makeup stars, such as Chloe Morello, Nikkie Tutorials, Alissa Ashley, Jackie Aina and Nyma Tang who have hours of videos to binge on that will help pass the time, while you pick up a few tips along the way.
- Learn arts and crafts
If you’re budget and time conscious, then learning origami is an inexpensive and easy way to fill your time, while doing something productive. Origami.me is a helpful resource that has more than 120 models that you fold using just paper, from animals to food and drink objects that will brighten up a window sill. Knitting is also a simple skill that can be mastered while you relax on the sofa. Head to LoveCrafts for everything from patterns, needles, tips and tricks, yarn and hooks in one handy place. It has a detailed editorial section too with inspiration on projects to start, new techniques and seasonal designs such as Father’s Day gifts or egg cosies for Easter.
The coronavirus outbreak may have caused worry and uncertainty throughout the globe, but there’s no point driving yourself stir crazy while locked away at home. By choosing to teach yourself a new skill, your time in self-isolation could not only be over before you know it, but you could also significantly benefit your life and career as well.
Bali tourism has received domestic tourists visits since July 31. This is a breath of fresh air for Balinese tourism businesses, whose businesses have suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Hotel General Manager Association (IHGMA) Bali, I Made Ramia Adnyana, said that tourism in Bali has revived. Since the second day, it is said that 4,000 domestic tourists have come.
Hotels have started to expand since the opening of tourism, for local people in Bali on July 9, 2020. We can see this from 2 days after the opening to the domestic market that it has penetrated 4,000 arrivals at Ngurah Rai International Airport. The chairman of IHGMA DPD Bali, I Nyoman Astama, also said the same. According to him, this can provide enthusiasm and hope for employers and workers that the tourism sector can recover soon.
The breath of Bali’s tourism life has started to blow. This gives enthusiasm and hope for the tourism business and is welcomed positively by tourism entrepreneurs and workers. Thanks to that, the hotel occupancy rate in Bali as a whole has increased even though it is still below 10%. However, hotels and villas that have remote locations such as in Pemuteran (North of Bali) and Nusa Lembongan Island are considered to have occupancy sometimes reaching 70%.
Even though the overall occupancy rate is still single digits or below 10%, several hotels and villas that have strategic and unique locations have enjoyed a dozen percent or 2 digits of room occupancy rates. Villa is a type of accommodation service that is unique and suitable for oxidation during COVID because the fact that villas are far from one another, physical distance elements have entered. Cleanliness and sanitation standards are also very important because guests pay more at villas.
It is predicted that the target of visiting foreign tourists can be achieved in 2025
Nyoman said that if this condition continues, the number of tourists who come can continue to increase. However, he did not want to target too high, only hoping that the hotel occupancy rate could touch 30% by the end of the year. If this momentum continues, hotel occupancy can continue to tens of percent and it is estimated that by the end of the year it will touch 30 percent.
How to get to Bali now?
Currently, tourists cannot be as easy as usual to visit Bali because there are several conditions that must be obeyed. One of them is that tourists must fill out biodata on the LOVEBALI application before leaving for Bali.
Instructions for the LOVEBALI application can be accessed on the https://lovebali.baliprov.go.id page. Tourism accommodation entrepreneurs in Bali must ensure that every tourist has filled out the LOVEBALI application. After arrived, tourists must activate the Global Positioning System (GPS) on their cellphones (HP). This was done as an effort to protect and safeguard tourists. That is important for tracing tourists, if something unexpected happens, the scene of the incident can be directly traced.
Here are the other conditions that tourists must comply with if they want to visit Bali:
- Show a negative COVID-19 certificate through a PCR-based swab test or rapid test no later than 14 days after the letter was issued.
- Tourists who have shown a negative certificate are no longer required to carry out a PCR-based swab test or rapid test in Bali unless they experience clinical symptoms of COVID-19.
- Tourists who are unable to produce a negative COVID-19 certificate are required to have a rapid test in Bali. If the results are reactive, tourists must take the PCR-based swab test in Bali. While waiting for the results, tourists will be quarantined at the designated place.
- The cost of rapid tests, swab tests, quarantine or health facilities is the responsibility of tourists.
Then, is Bali safe to visit?
Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Hotel General Manager Association (IHGMA) DPD Bali, I Made Ramia Adnyana, said that visiting Bali are guaranteed to be safe because they apply health protocols based on cleanliness, health, safety, and environment (CHSE).
The Balinese government and the entrepreneurs have prepared and implemented a CHSE-based health protocol to ensure that tourists are safe to travelling in Bali. Of course, it is very important that stakeholders are consistent and committed to implementing the health protocol as determined by the government.
The entrepreneurs have obtained a standard operating procedure (SOP) foundation from the Regency Government to run a tourism business in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Badung Regency Government on June 4, 2020, through Circular Number 259/2020 swiftly and anticipatively issued a legal basis for tourism businesses to implement SOPs that must be implemented in post-COVID-19 tourism management.
In order for the health protocol policy to run well, the visitors have to comply with the rules that have been set when traveling in Bali. What is no less important is that tourists travel responsibly (travel responsibly).
Bali as one of the new normal favourite touristic destination
Meanwhile, the well-known travel start-up from Germany, Tourlane, on April 8, 2020, released research results, one of which remains Bali as the most popular island in the world.
This determination uses the search method of the number of hashtags on Instagram. During several periods of research carried out, Bali Island became the most sought-after destination with a total of 60,473,066 hashtags. This number surpassed Ibiza Island, Spain, in second place with hashtags of 16,320,328, and the island of Sicily, Italy, in third with 12,974,059 hashtags.
Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, Wishnutama Kusubandio welcomed the research results. This determination further motivated Indonesia to grow new Bali-Bali in addition to increasing Bali tourism to be more friendly and sustainable So far, Bali is known in the world as a natural and cultural tourist destination. The attraction of Bali lies in its beautiful landscapes, as well as the traditions and culture of its unique people.
The strength of tradition and culture in Bali is undoubtedly the reason why tourists come besides its natural beauty. So, it’s no wonder, Bali is very popular in the world. However, Wishnutama also reminded that even though Bali has been popular, there is still a lot of homework to do. Especially after the Covid-19 epidemic, tourism trends will change, leading to tourism that focuses on the health and comfort of tourists. The people of Bali continue to collaborate to improve ourselves in facing new travel trends, including issues of waste management, sanitation, hygiene and comfort. Balinese people also have a high awareness of clean tourism.
The determination of Bali as the most popular destination in the world is not the first time it has been obtained. Previously, the Island of the Gods was ranked in the top 24 cities in the world as the TripAdvisor version of the World’s Best Destination 2017. In addition, several international sites and associations have also named Bali as the best between Travel and Leisure, World Travel Awards, Conde Nast Traveller, to the UNWTO Awards.
So, are you ready for this season? Let’s hope for the best, to be soon recovered, so that we could go and see each other again. Of course, while maintaining the health protocol… see ya!
Our happiness in life often changes depending on what life events we face at that time. Our happiness can be significantly reduced when we face a traumatic event or a difficult time in life.
The good news is that although mood levels are partly determined by factors such as genetics and nurture, most of our happiness is in our own control. Learning how to respond during difficult times is something that takes practice, but when you learn how to manage your mind-set, nothing that happens around you will be able to control your happiness.
The ways below are simple things that you can apply so that you can live a thriving and resilient life, where you can face difficult times and of course stay happy.
Part 1, determine what happiness means to you. The first step in the process of having a happy life is to determine what is important to you and what you value in life that gives you happiness.
Happiness can only come into your life when you can ‘fully accept’ your condition, and you choose to be the best you can be. Until the time you are ready to live a happy life even though sometimes in your life it is totally out of plan.
Part 2, understand how happiness works for you. We all have different personalities and this means that for some of us, we feel easier to be happy. The level of happiness in someone’s life depends on their vision of what is a “good life”. Once a person completes this, it is easier for them to identify what they can do to bring happiness into their lives. Happiness is a consequence of what we do and how we behave. Taking action and doing something different in a more positive way is more likely to bring happiness into your life.
Part 3, choose to be around the right people. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want. Having a positive and healthy relationship in life is the key to living a happy life. That will lead you to feel gratitude for your life. Don’t you want to spend time with people who ‘suck’ your happiness? A positive and healthy relationship is where you find support and strength to face difficult times in life.
Part 4, you can maintain happiness and make the most out of this crisis. All you have to do is to be present and quiet your mind. The present moment is the only moment we truly have because the future is imagined. Fear only exists in the future, and the definition of fear is the anticipation of pain.
Once you learn my strategies for maintaining your happiness in the present, being happy in the future follows as a result. How can we focus on the present not only when things are going really well, but when things suck, too? The answer: practice being happy. Anything you practice becomes a habit, and habits become permanent unless we consciously change them. We’re practicing something all the time through our habits, even when we’re not really thinking about it.
You have to prioritize being happy, no matter what is going on in life; whether you win or lose, succeed, or experience temporary setbacks, whether everything is the way you have always dreamed or if you are still on the road to your next major destination. And also, commitment to be the best person you can be is important for maintaining happiness in your life.
Remember, happiness is something that you create by yourself. Caring for your body, mind, and feelings of well-being is very important so that you become a person who remains happy even in difficult times. The happiest people aren’t the luckiest, wealthiest, or best looking; the happiest people are those who make a daily effort to be happy.
We highly recommend you to read books on self-development; preparing ourselves for the bright future ahead of us.
Especially with all these extra time on hands, we feel that it is our responsibility to make the best out of it. When all the office work is done, what do you like to do to unwind?
Well, it doesn’t hurt to be visionaries, does it? In this article, we are sharing our favorite books on self-development that is available online so you can read them on your Kindle, or even phones. Here are the five most relevant books that you should read in the quarantine.
- Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck? And Other Provocations
by Seth Godin
This book is a masterpiece, and unlike most self-improvement books, this one targets an infinite array of areas in which you can, and ultimately must, improve.
With its ruthless honesty and genuine inspiration, Godin makes you ponder the difficult questions you wouldn’t ever dare to ask yourself. The result is a completely new perspective of the world- a fresher, more vibrant perspective, packed with new and bold possibilities.
If you need a friend who understands you, a boss that forces you to venture deep in your non-comfort zone, a wise guru that tells you what needs to be left behind and a sage that proclaims the coming of a new age, then look no further; you will find these shrewd voices all tied together in this magnificent book. Make sure to get this one.
- The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys
by James Fadiman
While finding a book on psychedelics in this list of books on self-improvement might come as a surprise, we believe any metaphysical distinction beten tools such as books, meditation or molecules hold no ground. They should all be solely judged on their merits. And the merits of certain chemical keys, used in a constructive way, are perhaps bigger than any book in this list.
The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide will teach you how to prepare yourself and your surroundings, what and how much to take, and what do do when something goes wrong. So you can safely enhance your thinking, creativity, introspection and emotional balance.
This book contains everything you need to know about using psychedelics as a tool for self-improvement while drawing on extensive scientific literature and personal wisdom. A must have for the beginning and experienced psychonaut alike.
- Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
by Brian Tracy
We all know how that destructive downward spiral feels. We have to do some big tasks of which the thought alone triggers resistance. We aren’t sure how and where to begin and feeling overwhelmed before we even start. We get easily distracted to get rid of that feeling, only to suddenly realize that hours went by- precious hours- and then find ourselves in the same position as before, still not knowing where and how to begin, but now, feeling guilty on top of it which expresses itself in more craving for distraction.
To break this spell of procrastination before it paralyzes us, Tracy advises us to Eat That Frog: to set our priorities straight, deconstruct larger tasks into smaller ones, learn when to tackle the big frog first or to start out with something else.
Tracy is truly a motivational writer. While we wished he had gone a bit deeper into the psychological reasons why people procrastinate, it is still a must have for anyone who wants to break the spell and get things done.
- How to Win Friends & Influence People
by Dale Carnegie
This is the first self-improvement book the writer has ever read and it is also probably one of the oldest in this category. Written in 1937, mainly for the door to door salesman of that era, this book by Carnegie can truly be called a classic. It shows what we all intuitively know:
It doesn’t matter what your line of work is or what you want to achieve. If you are doing business of any kind, you need to make it about the other person. Being nice helps, a lot. And while we might not fully defend the premise of this book because it doesn’t distinguish beten genuine interest and faking it to get what you want; it still contains a treasure chest full of timeless wisdom.
Everybody wants to feel appreciated, and rightfully so. Learning to take a small effort to make someone’s day will make the world better no matter what your goal is. We still spontaneously remember some of his guidance, and perhaps this quality is the reason why this book still draws millions of readers to this day.
- Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
by David D. Burns
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most effective therapy used by psychologists today. It consists of identifying thought patterns that have a detrimental effect on your self-image and mood; and deconstructing these in order to break out of these destructive cycles.
If you want to know how this works, which moods are central in your life, what thought patterns are causing your depression, how to overcome self-judgment and guilt, how to defeat approval and love addiction and how your self-perfectionism is hindering you, then don’t look further.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped millions of people and it can help you, and this is the best book for the job. Packed with scientific research, exercises and examples, this is the best improvement your self is going to get.
There you go, our list of five best self-help books to transform you into the best version of you. Happy reading!
Personal protective equipment (PPE) offers a way of reducing the infection when treating patients, by minimizing exposure to contaminated body fluids. During epidemics/pandemics of highly infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, health care workers (HCW) are at greater risk of infection than the general population.
The recently published Cochrane Review (Verbeek et al, 2020), aimed to evaluate which type of full-body PPE and which method of donning (putting on) or doffing (removing) PPE have the least risk of contamination or infection for HCW, and which training methods increase compliance with PPE protocols. For COVID-19, this entails preventing droplets from entering mouth, nose or eyes and preventing them from contaminating the skin elsewhere.
Dentists and members of the dental team work in close proximity, usually face-to-face, with patients often for sustained periods of time. As part of routine care, they are exposed to saliva and blood and carry out aerosol-generating procedures (e.g. use of high-speed air rotors and ultrasonic scalers), making the findings of this review highly relevant to them.
PPE is part of Standard Precaution for infection and control. In tandem with other measures such as good ventilations, correct handling of waste, immunizations and correct working practices, PPE can help minimize the possibility of exposure to infections.
The term PPE is used to describe all protective equipment a dentist or dental nurse may use in the surgery. Typically, this might include the following elements :
- PPE for Eyes – goggles, visors. Normal glasses do not provide sufficient eye protection so goggles or visors should be worn during treatments and when manually cleaning instruments. Patients should be given eye protection prior to any examination or treatment.
- PPE for Hands – sterile, single use gloves. These should be put on at the start of treatment and removed at the end. They need to be removed aseptically so that the outside of the glove isn’t touched by bare skin. Sterile gloves are needed for invasive surgery while heavy duty gloves are required for cleaning of dental instruments.
- PPE for the face – masks and respirators. Conventional single use masks provide barriers against splatter but do not generally protect the wearer effectively against aerosol inhalation. Respirator masks filter inhaled air and remove microbes.
- PPE for the body – aprons, gowns. Aprons or gowns are often wore over the top of dental uniforms to act as barrier to fluids.
There are several aspects to be aware of concerning the use of PPE. The order of putting on and removing PPE is vital in order to prevent the spread of infection. These following sequences were advised :
- For putting on PPE the order is uniform-apron-mask-eye protection then gloves.
- For removing PPE the order is gloves-apron-eye protection-mask-uniform.
Throughout the process, it is important to keep hands away from the face and limit any surfaces touched in the patient environment. Gloves should be change if they become torn or highly contaminated, and always between patients. Hands should be cleaned after disposing of gloves.
Single use items should be disposed as hazardous clinical waste and managed according to practice waste management policy.
The masks and gloves protect the dental team from any contact with blood, saliva, mucous and other bodily fluids. These fluids can contain viruses and bacteria that can spread infection; many illnesses can only be spread by direct contact between bodily fluids.
PPE protects patients too. The gloves your dentist and team use are sterile, which limits the chances that you’ll contract an illness from them. This is especially important for immune compromised individuals. Sterile gloves are used for each patient and are always discarded after use.
Your dentist will always wear PPE whether or not you display symptoms of an illness. Infection control requires that every patient is infected. You must let your dentist know if you have an illness before your visit so you and they can plan appropriately.
The amount of PPE your dentist will wear can vary significantly depending on your health conditions. People with highly infectious or dangerous diseases would be treated by medical professionals wearing significantly more PPE than with patients who seem healthy.
Standard PPE equipment doesn’t protect your dentist from every type of infection. You’ve probably heard that most masks don’t protect adequately from airborne infections – they only act as barriers for fluids. That’s why there’s a growing need in the current environment for specialized PPE like N95 masks.
The chain of infection
In addition to following safety protocols, it is worthwhile to remember the difference between bacteria and viruses when thinking about the chain of infection. Although both are microbes with the potential to cause infections, they behave in very different ways. Viruses, such as the novel coronavirus, are smaller than even the smallest of bacteria, reproduce quickly by using host cells to make new viruses, and are much more likely to cause disease. In general, viral infections are also more challenging to treat due to their tiny size and as they reproduce inside of cells.
The chain of infection refers to the series of events that allow pathogens to cause infection in a person. This chain begins with an infectious agent, or pathogen, finding a “portal of exit.” Upon finding this exit, the pathogen can leave its reservoir and travel through space. As it travels, whether by direct or indirect contact, it searches for a “portal of entry” and enters a new, susceptible host.
This may sound complicated, but it can happen within an instant. The easiest way to stop pathogens from spreading is to interrupt the chain through understanding the portals of exit and entry and modes of viral transmission and adopt the appropriate infection control measures.
Some ways to break the cycle of infection include eliminating the agent at its source of transmission, protecting portals of entry, and increasing the host’s defense so that there are fewer new and susceptible hosts. We examine how dental professionals can increase their defenses against infection in the workplace.
The fight against infection begins with the implementation of the hierarchy of controls as follows :
- Eliminate workplace conditions or contagious individuals that negatively impact well-being.
- Replace or substitute unsafe/unhealthy working practices with policies that improve the culture of safety and health in the workplace
- Redesign or rearrange the workplace to promote safer practices.
- Provide safety and health resources for employees.
- Encourage personal change, so that individuals will do their part to keep the office safe.
Following these control guidelines is the first step to bolstering your practice’s defenses against the spread of viral infections. The second step is to recognize and understand the unique dangers present in a dental office. The face-to-face nature of dentistry, in combination with the exposure to saliva, blood, and other bodily fluids, makes it very easy to transmit infections. As a result, dental professionals must adopt infection control measures to limit the airborne spread (often through aerosols), the contact spread, and the contamination of surfaces. Some protocols to protect against these transmissions of infection include the following.
Screening patients prior to their appointments
The best way to break the chain of infection is to prevent the introduction of the pathogens in the first place. Sick patients and employees should not enter the building. Screening patients, by asking basic triage questions before their appointments is the best way to determine if they are healthy enough to continue with their scheduled procedures. This does not mean only during a pandemic but forever!
Staying home if you are sick
Any employee that does not feel well should stay home. If you are ill, you are a potential hazard in the workplace and better serve everyone by isolating yourself and getting better.
Practicing good hand hygiene
Oral professionals should properly wash or disinfect their hands before the patient examination, before starting any procedures, after touching the patient, and after touching any of the surrounding medical equipment.
Opting for procedures that create fewer aerosols, if possible
The aerosols and spatter created in many dental procedures can stay airborne for long periods, thereby creating a risk for the transmission of infection via the respiratory passages. Certain procedures, such as those that use ultrasonic scalers, air polishing, air abrasion, and air-water syringes, create more aerosols than others. During a pandemic or outbreak, it is wise to opt for methods that will create fewer airborne droplets.
Implementing preoperational mouth rinses before dental procedures
Preoperational antimicrobial mouth rinse may reduce the number of oral microbes present in the patient’s mouth. In procedures known to create more aerosols, a mouth rinse can limit exposure to pathogens.
Utilizing rubber dams
A rubber dam is a thin, six-inch, square sheet of latex used to isolate one or more teeth from the rest of the mouth during dental procedures. This isolation can reduce the likelihood of spreading bacteria and saliva from the patient’s mouth.
Disinfecting with strict safety measures
Regular cleaning of your office is always important and should follow the directions present on the cleaning and disinfectant supplies. When applicable, implement extra measures such as air cleaning systems to reduce the size of any bio aerosols that might be present in the air.
Reviewing the proper use of PPE
As stated earlier, PPE is the final defense, but it only works if used properly. Worn whenever there is potential for contact with spray or spatter, there must also be strict adherence to the guidelines for putting on, taking off, and disposing of the materials.
Preventative care is the best approach
Many may tell you that their protocols are good enough because no one has gotten sick. However, that attitude is not good enough. We cannot wait for someone to get sick before we decide to follow precautionary principles. Yes, it will require effort on our parts, but if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that that effort is vital for the continued health of our communities.
Even after all of this is over and we go back to “business as usual,” dental professionals need to re-evaluate their protocols and make sure that we are doing everything possible to protect workers and patients. Dental offices have characteristics that warrant additional infection control protocols and we must be aware of how our practices have the potential to aerosolize infectious aerosols and be a vector for disease.
Although COVID-19 may seem like a complete aberration, there have been other viruses throughout history that have changed the way we live. Nevertheless, we have survived and learned how to protect ourselves better.