I had to go to the dentist this afternoon in Charlottesville to get a tooth filled. I half-expected the office to call me this morning and reschedule until after the
plague crisis, but they didn’t, so I went ahead and kept the appointment.
The dentist’s office took elaborate precautions against the Wuhan Coronavirus. When I arrived they questioned me about whether I was showing any symptoms, and then took my temperature (which was normal). While that was going on, staff members were swabbing down EVERYTHING in the waiting room.
The receptionist had me wait in my car until I was called. And I had to do a special antiseptic mouthwash before I got my tooth filled.
I told the dentist that he should maintain social distance. We had a nice chat about the possibility of using remote-control waldoes for dentistry. Apparently such things already exist: tiny mechanical “hands” that can work far back in the throat, controlled by some kind of joystick device.
The dentist’s assistant told me that Charlottesville had reported its first confirmed coronavirus infection, and that there was one in Harrisonburg, too.
Apparently I was one of the few patients who hadn’t called in and cancelled. They said they’re closing on Thursday because everybody has cancelled. As for next week, they’re waiting to hear what the CDC says.
Just for the heck of it I went to Walmart afterwards. They were out of a lot of stuff, so it’s a good thing I wasn’t there for food or toilet paper. But I noticed they had bread and milk, which surprised me. And plenty of bananas this time! So I bought a few.
Traffic was noticeably light. I was there at what should have been rush hour, but there really wasn’t any. The road home was almost empty.
When I got home, I saw a report that San Francisco has ordered all residents to stay at home 24/7 until April 7. The only exceptions are to go to a medical appointment or a grocery store. Where there will be no toilet paper, of course.