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  • Writer's pictureKarl Walker-Finch

Turn and face the strange

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

We are undeniably in the midst of a cataclysmic societal upheaval.

Everything changed when we went into lockdown and what is emerging is a world that is vastly different to how it was at the start of this year.

The digital revolution that has been ongoing for decades now has leapt forward probably a dozen years in its adoption cycle. The late majority are regularly meeting on Zoom, working from home and ordering their shopping online. Many people won’t ever return to those bygone days where you walked round an overlit, oddly odourless, warehouse to do “the big shop”.

We are entering a time when any interaction between two or more people will be preceded by the question, “can’t we just do this online/from home/on [insert your chosen video calling platform here]?"

And why not? We’ve known for a long time that we need to reduce our carbon footprint and never in the history of mankind has there been as sudden a drop in carbon use as is forecasted to happen in 2020 due to this global pandemic.

If there's one thing that graph shows it's that there's still a long way to go.

I've started to offer free online consultations to new and existing patients to discuss their oral health needs. I feel like I'm a late comer to this party, the tech's been around for years. I'm so frustrated at the limited amount of help I'm able to offer my patients at the moment, but this is one way that I can reconnect and offer a little more to them. It's a way of helping everyone through this time, but I would not be at all surprised if it continues beyond our current situation.

Will we, or should we, go back to the old ways of enforced travel to meetings with clients, customers, or even patients when many conversations could be done digitally. It's Up In The Air (worth a watch at this time to see how video calls should perhaps not be used, though consider the horrific carbon footprint of the protagonist).

Of course, physical contact is irreplaceable and we will become more dependant on our close friends and family for this. The elimination of non-essential travel will create family time for those willing to embrace it. Without a doubt there will also be concerns of further social isolation for those who do not have "ideal" domestic arrangements. These are issues that will have to be addressed and running away from the change that is upon us is not going to stop it from happening.

Our planet is constantly evolving and this evolutionary process has progressed quicker than most. This changed world will bring with it a plethora of opportunities for those who are willing to step up to the plate.

Those who aren’t will probably sit at home and moan about how life has become unfair. The advantages that they didn’t grumble about in the last world have been stripped away from them and given to someone who was willing to move with the times.

Change isn’t always easy.

Change gives you a chance and a choice.

Will you “turn and face the strange”?

Will you choose to build a better world from this, or sit at home and whinge that it ain’t like it used to be?

“And these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds.

Are immune to your consultation, they’re quite aware what they’re going through.”

David Bowie (listen here)

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