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a blog by Chris Barrow

A riff before Easter

Surges, Shortages and Stress

It's my last day in the office before a 10-day break and, given the rapidity with which events are unfolding both nationally and internationally, it begs the question "what will I be returning to on Monday 25th April?"

Impossible to predict of course.

Here's what I'm leaving behind in dentistry when I close the office tonight:

  • The continued surge in Covid, affecting not just patients, team members and other dental colleagues but now also lab work - clients telling me that patients are having to be rebooked because the lab are asking for extensions on delivery time - Covid and the supply chain held responsible;

  • The continued surge in inflation and prices, affecting team stability/morale and pricing;

  • The continued shortage of clinicians, affecting variable expenses and expansion in independent practice;

  • The continued stress around "the 95%" in the NHS south of the border - with many already resigned to the fact that they will be unable to meet targets due to the circumstances listed above;

  • The continued exodus from said NHS, as more decide that plan conversions are now the inescapable solution.

It's all a bit dark at the moment, and any glance at the media doesn't help, even though The Guardian are at pains this morning to reassure us that both Neptune and Jupiter transitioned through Pisces on Tuesday and that will bring us good fortune.

The reference to astrology reminds me that that the word "crisis" is overused at the moment.

I'm sure that Yoda would observe that "there is no crisis, there is only cycle."

All of these surges, shortages and stresses are just cycles, whether economic, political, societal, health-related - even the weather.

We adapt to cycles and we survive. We always have and we always will.

Keeping a journal is helpful in this respect, as we can look back (as I do) 5 years, 10 years or 20 years and remind ourselves that we were dealing with other challenges at the time - and that we got through.


I recently analysed my 5,000 Facebook "friends" as the requests were still coming in and I was unable to add them.

Over 4,000 have been totally inactive for over 2 years. Not a single "reaction", "share", "comment" or "activity".

So I'm removing 100 of them every day (because that's the maximum that FB will allow) - and over the next 40 days my Facebook cull will be complete.

A reminder that digital engagement should be about quality (I have 1,000 Facebook friends with whom I engage regularly), rather than quantity (I have 5,000 Facebook friends - aren't I popular?).

My 3,923 Instagram followers will be next, even though I don't use Insta much - pictures of people living their best lives - yawn (and even I do it periodically).


Today I'll be in the middle of:

  • a dispute over money between two business partners;

  • an accusation of bullying and intimidation;

  • an accusation of misogyny.

It's not even my job.

Given all the challenges we face - why can't people just get along?

(Cue The Karpman Drama Triangle)

That's all folks - see you in 10 days. Happy Easter.

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