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  • Karl Walker-Finch

A Poverty of Attention

Updated: May 14, 2020



“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention” Herbert Simon


Never has this quote been more true than in the situation we currently find ourselves.


We all face a continuous bombardment from the government, the news and social media, very often all saying the same thing in a different way, often saying completely contradictory things in the same way.


We are being overloaded with information, most of which is causing significant anxiety, so we can no longer see the wood for the trees.


This relentless assault of information has created an environment of total confusion where no-one can focus on anything of any significance to establish what is 1. True and 2. Important.


Sadly, in the dental sector, we're also wading through this quagmire to try to establish when we can safely start helping our patients properly again. The latest government advice seems to suggest that dental practices are now exempt from the lockdown but no-one can get any personal protective equipment to ensure that it is safe for both the staff and the patients. Nor can anyone clearly tell us what level of protection is safe.


Not only this, but the GDC, CDO, CQC (apologies for all the TLA's (Three Letter Acronyms)) and indemnity companies seem to be suggesting that most practices shouldn't be open, though this is more of a suggestion than anything clear or concrete.


In times like this I like to take a step back and remind myself what is truly important right now. We have to look after our loved ones and we have to protect those that are vulnerable.


I sincerely hope that soon I can get back to helping the patients that I've spent the majority of my life training to help. I'll be doing everything I can to support a safe return to work. Until then, I'm going to keep trusting my instincts on caring for my loved ones, near and far.


"So close, no matter how far

Couldn't be much more from the heart

Forever trusting who we are

And nothing else matters"

Metallica - James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich (listen here)


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