QZ qz thoughts
a blog from Eli the Bearded

Covid-19, Day 170

Latest numbers: New York State has 389,900 reported cases and 30,700 deaths, 292 of those in week ending June 14th. California has 159,200 cases and 5,200 deaths, 432 on June 14th week. US overall 2,158,500 cases and 117,200 deaths, 5,175 deaths that same week. World wide deaths stand at 444,500 and infections at at 8,270,000. It is widely believed US numbers (and some world numbers) are undercounts due to testing shortages and delays. Looking at graphs, some parts of the US have seeminly recovered, while others are staying flat or getting worse. New York looks like it is long past the worst; California looks flat; Nebraska, Georgia, Arkansas all seem to be getting worse and worse. But don't worry — "If we stop testing right now, we'd have very few cases, if any" President Trump told us on the 15th.

Today I had my first dentist appointment in covid-times. The dental office called earlier in the week to reschedule the time of visit. Apparently the one hour appointments are now staggered throughout the hour so that there is less overlap in waiting room use. I did not sit down at all in the waiting room, since I was a little late for the appointment. This week also saw alternate side parking enforcement begin again in San Francisco, and I had trouble finding a space.

In the waiting room I had my temperature taken with touchless forehead scan and a health survey taken. In the room with the dental chair, I was given hand sanitizer and s special mouthwash. The chair had disposable plastic sheath. The old style rectangular bib with a neck chain was gone. Instead a large bib with a shape like the x-ray blankets was just balanced on me. Hygienists and doctor wore both face masks (cloth over nose and mouth) and face shields (clear plastic over whole face).

The cleaning was mostly the same. There was a new suction tool, which the hygienist called a "leaf". It was a flat bulb with preforations on one side to create a distributed zone of suction. The leaf was used during ultrasonic scaling and polishing. The old style suction straw was still in use for other parts of the cleaning and exam. (During polishing both suction tools were used.) In response to my questions, the hygienist said they they had not been using the ultrasonic scaler or the polisher before they had the leaf. It's supposed to reduce the aerosols from those activities, but I still saw the spray of mist.

Besides street sweeping enforcement beginning again this week, bars and restaurants in San Francisco have also begun limited reopening. Places with outdoor seating can now use that. It's somewhat controversial in that it puts a burden on waitstaff to be extra cautious handling stuff and often puts diners in close contact with non-dining public (eg sidewalk seating). I was never one to eat out much, and have not availed myself of this new opportunity.

Immediately after the dental cleaning I went to a bagel shop for breakfast and coffee. No one was using their outdoor tables. I got my food and left to eat it at home.