Over the past few weeks, the coronavirus has become the dominant topic of news stories and conversation among the general public, both offline and online.

With many offices and businesses temporarily closed to follow social distancing recommendations to help the public avoid exposure, and with many Americans staying at home, it’s not uncommon to start feeling discouraged or anxious.

But keeping a positive mindset has been a source of inspiration for many. Mandy draws on her experience of recovering from a major injury to help her get through this time. “My attitude is to always keep pushing, keep believing and keep moving forward,” she says. “Every situation you are faced with becomes what you make of it. If you believe you’re unstoppable, you are. Keep the faith and keep moving forward.”

Dental assistants across the country are finding ways to stay positive and enjoy their time at home until it’s time to go back to work. Read on to learn about what’s on their to-do lists.


Completing Projects and Crafts

For many dental assistants, having more time to spend at home means more time to dedicate to household projects and beloved hobbies. We’ve heard dental assistants say they enjoy a variety of indoor pastimes that are lending themselves well to a short-term social distancing lifestyle, such as scrapbooking or working on puzzles.

“I am starting to make a baby quilt for my doctor’s baby shower,” Kendra says. Courtney says she is trying to crochet a blanket. “But it turns out, I can read a dental chart better than a crochet pattern!” she jokes. Sherri is also crocheting — her project is making summer sweaters for her colleagues at the office “for when we get back to work,” she notes.

Some dental assistants are using their time to catch up on household chores, particularly laundry or cleaning out their closets. One assistant reorganized her kitchen. “My house is spotless now!” Alicia joked.


Working on Their Careers

Other dental assistants are using their time at home to keep moving forward in their jobs and furthering their careers. Kristin says she is working from home by updating her dental office’s policies and procedures manual. She is also completing continuing education online.

Tracy had the same idea. “I’m all caught up on my CE credits now — with a few extra!” she says.

Some dental assistants even are choosing to continue their own learning by reading dental assisting textbooks and brushing up on continuing education remotely — including those online options available through the DALE Foundation.

For example, Tiffany is reviewing her dental assisting textbooks and workbooks, and Jean is studying to earn certification. “Now is a good time to get ahead,” she notes.


Taking Time for Themselves

Dental assistants are hard workers, and some have said this unanticipated downtime has been a relief for them. Alicia is one of them, noting that after spending so many years caring for other family members, she is appreciating this time to have to herself. “I am having no problem filling the time,” she says.

Other assistants are using time to relax through a variety of activities. Jade plans to spend more time exercising and gardening.

Gabriella is also on the fitness train. “I have always wanted to work out in the morning, and now I can!” she says. “I started a workout challenge with friends to stay motivated at home.”

Chelsea is taking a more laid-back approach. “I’ve been using this time to catch up on my TV shows and books,” she explains. “During the workweek, after working all day and coming home to make dinner and do other errands, I was usually too tired. But now, I can have some time to enjoy some of my favorite things.”


Connecting with Others

In this digital day and age, maintaining physical social distance doesn’t have to mean becoming disconnected from family and friends located both near and far. Dental assistants are among those in recent weeks to turn to technology to “stay together” apart — through online groups, email, social media and video chat.

Holly says she started a group text with her friends from the office: “We share jokes with each other and keep each other’s spirits up.”

Want to connect with us? DANB is on Facebook — and we welcome your comments and stories, now more than ever.


How have you stayed busy and positive during the past few weeks? Share your story.