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April 1, 2020 Update

April 1st, 2020

April 1, 2020

I was dreaming the other night that I was taking my grandson Parker for a walk and I picked him up and hugged him.  I was so happy.  I was sad when I woke-up and realized it was only a dream.  Like most of you, we are dealing with not being able to see our family and friends.  That's the sacrifice we have been asked to make for the greater good.  At least there is Face Time and Zoom.

Parker made my day a "Lovely Day"

Our team hopes you are all staying safe and healthy.  We are meeting a few times a week via Zoom.  We are preparing for when we can see all of you again.  There is a lot to do and we are on it.  As always, we will make all modifications needed to assure your safety.

In my thirty-two years of private practice, I have never had a sick day.  I have gone home early a few times, but overall, I have been blessed with good health, so this not working stuff is driving me crazy.  No one wants to be in the office more than I do.

As you know by now, the Shelter-in-Place Order has been extended until at least April 30th.  Currently, Sheltering-in-Place is the contribution we all can make to keep everyone safeDoing nothing is really doing something great.  We appreciate your patience and we will be ready to resume operations when it is deemed safe to do so.

If you have questions or problems, Missy is in the office each day, so please call.  We are available.  The current guidelines severely limit what type of treatment we are allowed to do at this time.  While we may find these limitations frustrating, they are in place for your protection and for the greater good.

A mentor of mine gave me this advice; “Tony, stay sane, stay safe, be patient.  Now is not the time to push the envelope.  We are working on the virus’s time schedule, not our own.”

Our dental practice will adjust to the challenges COVID-19 has presented.  We are already developing protocols to address some of these challenges.  We promise that all changes will be judged assuring:

  • Patient and team member health and safety
  • We can maintain interpersonal relationships with our patients
  • We maintain delivering the highest quality dental care and highest quality patient experiences with our office
  • Our patients will receive great value for the investment they make into their dental health

This next July will be the 32nd anniversary of our practice. For those of you who don’t know, I opened the practice in 1988 after spending three years as an officer in the US Navy.  I opened a one-chair office on Midlothian Road near Mundelein High School.  We moved into our current office in the summer of 2001.  We have been in practice long enough to have three and four generations of families as patients.  You have shared your lives with us.  We appreciate and value our relationships with each of you and we will continue to do what is best for you.

These days, I’m spending most of my days in Zoom conferences, on-line courses, or reading medical literature.  We are navigating through all the noise by absorbing information, developing ideas, and trying to create plans that will allow us to continue to provide great dental care.

Be sane, be safe, and be patient

Tony and David Markiewicz and our team at Markiewicz Dental

Here are some pictures from 1988

March 25, 2020 Update

March 24th, 2020

March 25, 2020

We hope this blog finds you well.  Our Team says hello!  We miss all of you. It is a challenging time for everyone, but we are all in this together.

Our team has remained engaged.  Many of you have spoken to Missy, Holly, or Elizabeth concerning your rescheduled appointments.  We appreciate your understanding and patience.

We have been having regular team meetings.  While not ideal, Zoom conferences let us meet from the safety of our homes.  Some of us need to work on the camera angles, or should I say, I need to work on the camera angle.  I’m less than impressed by my look!     (It is OK to laugh.  We all need a laugh these days) 

Dr. David has been busy completely reorganizing the entire clinical space.  He’s removed every supply, cleaned and disinfected every shelf,drawer, and cabinet, and created an organized system with labels for every supply.

We have been taking webinars and have been involved in online conferences, doing our best to stay informed as to the latest information and recommendations concerning COVID-19.  Our priority is always to keep you safe and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure your safety. 

So far, Elizabeth and I still like each other.  We each spend a portion of the day working.  Each day we head out for a walk and we talk to family and friends often.  I’m hoarse, between the Zoom conferences and telephone calls, my voice is giving out.

We have had a family “virtual cocktail” party on Facetime, a NYT crossword puzzle party, a virtual pajama party, and Elizabeth had a grade school reunion all on Zoom.  We watched a wedding of a friend’s daughter and the funeral of our Pastor’s father, all live streamed.  Families are doing their best to not let COVID-19 disrupt important and sacred traditions.  While only a few family members are allowed in the Church, the rest of the family can share the love of a Bride and Groom and the celebration of the life of a Patriarch.  While these are not traditional celebrations, they show how love really can conquer all. If your looking for a Mass, Old St. Pats has the live stream working.

Ok, on a lighter note.  Many of you know I have a Peloton bike.  I am really looking forward to this Friday.  Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas (Really…you don’t know who they are??  Golfers, and good ones at that) are challenging everyone to join the Friday 9 am CT ride with my friend @Alextoussanint25 as a way to encourage #stayactive #socialconnection #stayhome.  If you can get on the app, this will be fun.  I will be there.

We wish you all the best of health.  Stay safe.

Tony Markiewicz

 

 

Checking-In

March 18th, 2020

It feels like I haven’t been in the office forever.

I miss seeing all of you.  The best part of my day is my interactions with all the people I care about; my team members and all of you, our patients.

Our team says hello!  They all seem to be doing alright.  We have decided to spend this time training.  Our list of “to do’s” is growing by the minute.  We are lucky that we have some great affiliations to lean upon.  We will be working with our Coach and using online training resources to make our team even better.  I wish you could have seen our team have our initial Zoom Video meeting.  You would have had a good laugh!  Login issues, dogs barking, kids crying, phones ringing, we had it all, but we got it done.

Thank you for your patience with the rescheduling.  With your help and understanding, Missy, Elizabeth, and Holly got it done.

I am tired of hearing about COVID-19.  Complaining about it and worrying about it won’t make it go away.  I need to keep updated about the latest news and recommendations, but for my own mental health, I find I need to limit my exposure to the news.  Trust though, I will be following the science and the data.  The ADA is promising to post some new treatment guidelines by early next week.  We will keep you updated.

The lack of testing has really handicapped the medical profession, because there is not enough data.  We owe the medical professionals guiding us through this pandemic a great debt.  They are working around the clock, trying to make the most prudent recommendations to keep us all safe.  Problem is, they are hand-cuffed by a lack of data.  We would not need blanket shut downs if we could test for the virus and isolate those infected rather than isolate everyone.

Best advice I heard on Wednesday:   Be Safe, Be Sane, and Decompress.   We are experiencing a problem we have never seen before and it will require a solution we can’t even comprehend as of yet.  We have great minds working on solutions and we all need to be patient.  I want answers as badly as all of you.  We can’t control what is happening, but we can control how we react.  Be safe, be smart, and be kind. This clip from Apollo 13 says it all.

 

So, what am I doing?  As I write this, I am listening to a three day live video dental conference.  It was organized in a few days and has 1800 dentists participating.  One of my mentors, Dr. Gary DeWood, spoke earlier from Arizona.  He had 20 minutes notice and spoke for an hour.  He jumped off his Peloton and into a Zoom conference.  We have a great professional community, pulling together to support each other.

I wanted to share an article by Michael Rozier, S.J.,an assistant professor of health management and policy and health care ethics at Saint Louis University on maintaining our humanity during this crisis.

Here are some of the things I am doing to cope.  Maybe this can help some of you.  I am asking our team members to share any ideas they may have.  I will post in the future.

  • Meditate. I have used the Calm app for years.  They offer at free 7-day trial.
  • Exercise-My physician who has been a marathon runner, once said to me; “you and I work out for our mental health. They physical benefits are secondary.”  Whether you are inside or outside, exercise relieves stress and give us all a break.  My favorite yoga app is DownDog and they are offering free access until April 1, 2020 and for teachers and students until July 1, 2020.
  • Visit some Historic Sites, virtually-Visit twelve historic sites from home
  • Go for a walk-No Headphones unless its music. We have great parks and forest preserves. The sunset Tuesday was beautiful.

  • Worship: Old St. Pats is streaming Masses.  The Mass from Sunday March 15, 2020 has over 28,000 views and St. Patrick’s Day had 4500 views.  The Wedding Music Fair showcases some wonderful musicians and singers.

Please be aware you are all in our prayers.  We are all in this together.  Please let us know what we could do to help all of you.

Tony and David Markiewicz and our Team

tony@markiewicz.dental

 

Tips for Staying Sane in the Time of Choronavirus

March 16th, 2020

How are you coping with the stress and isolation caused by the choronavirus  crisis?

Like most of you, I am definitely feeling the stress of this crisis.  I will share some of my coping methods:

  • Mediation:  I have used the Calm App for years, yep even before LeBron
  • Worship:  Most church services have been cancelled.  Our Church, Old St. Pats streams a Mass each week, so they were well prepared to step-up in this time of need.  As of this moment, there are more than 26,000 views since yesterday.  March 15, 2020 Mass
  • Exercise-always a fall-back for me.  Our Forest Preserves are wonderful.  Get out and clear your head.
  • Reading-get lost in some good fiction.

Post any helpful ideas you may wish to share.

From Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune 3/12/20:

1. Be generous.  

Anxiety is its own contagion. A little act can break the chain. Make an effort — like the CVS guy did — to make someone else feel better, and you’ll feel a little better yourself.

So check on a vulnerable neighbor. Donate some money to a local food bank or another agency that may be overwhelmed as this health crisis spreads.

And don’t buy all the sanitizer on the shelf, unless you plan to give some away. Think communally.

2. Look for the light.

If you have the virus, or think you might, and you’re in “self-isolation” — our national word of the week — sit by the window. If you’re not self-isolating, step outside and face the sun. Natural light is the sanitizer of the dark soul.

3. Don’t wallow in the news.

Being informed is good. Constant news consumption is like bathing in a swamp.

Turn off the news. Turn on some music. Read a book. Phone a friend. Your mind reflects, in part, what you put into it.

4. Be careful where you get your information. Double-check before you share.

The COVID-19 news is scary, but there’s comfort in understanding where news comes from.

Did you read that viral post touting “serious excellent advice” from “Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases,” the one that says you can prevent the virus by drinking tons of water? Did you share it? Lots of people, including a famous TV personality, did. There’s no evidence the claim is true.

PolitiFact, run by the nonpartisan Poynter Institute, offers a guide called “7 ways to avoid misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic.”

5. When you find yourself really mad at someone you care about, ask yourself: Is this just coronavirus anxiety talking?

Simply by asking yourself the question, you may calm down enough to realize how tangled your interpersonal anxieties are with the anxieties over the virus.

6. Breathe.

Really. It helps. Exercise. Meditate. Do some yoga. Take a walk. Get some fresh air, even if it means simply opening a window.

7. Don’t isolate even if you’re in self-isolation.

If you’re working from home or staying inside because you’re sick, stay connected through your phone or computer. Isolation can be anxiety’s petri dish.

8. Repeat this word: Perspective

This is not the first or the worst crisis in the history of humanity. And any crisis, by revealing systemic shortcomings in the ability to handle it, can lead to improvements.

9. Laugh.

It may not be the best medicine, but it doesn’t hurt. The other day while washing my hands for the zillionth time, a ditty wrote itself in my head and made me laugh. It was to the tune of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

How many times can a gal wash her hands

Before she goes out of her mind?

Yes, and how many times can she sing silly songs


While scrubbing them front and behind?


Yes, and how many times will she lather and rub —


Until both her hands are like rinds?


The virus, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind


The virus is blowin’ in the wind.

WGN radio anchor John Williams recruited a singer named Springbo to record it and played it on his show.

10. Think spring.

It’s coming. Daylight will get longer. The flowers will bloom. The trees will grow leaves. We’ll be reminded, again, that nature is a power we’ll never fully control, that life comes in seasons, that trees survive winter and the sun always returns.

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