I may not post very much anymore but I have found such a great company recently that I felt I just had to let others know about it.
In preparation for returning to clinics after lockdown I decided I wanted a scrub cap head covering and after much searching, settled on a dental themed scrub cap from this website:
Really happy with it. I honestly don’t know why I never considered getting one before.
Then a couple of weeks later I saw that they have started to make cotton masks both for adults and children. Now that we are starting to get back to some semblance of normality and the girls will need masks on occasions when out and about, I put in an order of one for each of us. There are over 300 fabric options to choose from which meant everyone could find something they like and they come with a pm2.5 filter included. They seem like much higher quality than most of the face coverings I have seen other people wear.
Matt from MedicusCaps has been amazing in dealing with this custom order.
If you are on the look out either for a scrub cap or for a face mask then do have a look there.
And if you are in the dental or medical specialties and are trying to find a way of getting a better seal for your mask at work for the times when you are not using an FFP3 then have a look here for a great idea currently in the Kickstarter development phase. I have ordered 2 to test when they are ready to be shipped in the next couple of months.
Pre-COVID I rarely wore a mask because of the inability to get any kind of a decent fit around the edges so I just couldn’t see much point. This very simple idea solves that problem. They only have a few days left on their kickstarter campaign and have raised over 3x what they originally hoping for.
I know there are some great people 3D printing visor frames or making magnetic attachments for visors to attach to loupes etc. I salute these people creating new advancements in this difficult time.
Just thought I would share another simple option people might want to consider even if it is just as a temporary solution if they do not have access to the other solutions mentioned above.
I first showed this quite a few years ago discussing how I modified my loupes frame to accept a visor. I have recently tested the same setup on safety glasses and found it worked very well.
It simply uses basic crocodile/alligator clips and a few cable ties.
If you are wanting to go the extra mile then you can also add the eyelets for extra security (From a craft or fabric shop) and electrical tape and to smooth the slightly sharp edges you often find on many visors but it works pretty well without them just with the clips. These safety glasses are ones I have at home for gardening etc, originally sourced from toolstation, and the crocodile clips can be sourced from amazon.
Caveat is that you obviously need to follow whatever the current best advice is. If you are given the option of better sealing goggles rather than glasses or a visor that covers over your forehead then they are probably superior to this.
If you want full details here is my original post:
Ps in the original post when I talk about masks not being effective I was referring to FRSMs not FFP3 respirators.
Hey everyone. Hope you are all well.
I thought I would share a couple of podcasts that I have found useful/interesting over the last few days. This situation has been changing so rapidly but it certainly looks like it is going to be ongoing for some time yet so I think it makes sense to understand what is putting us in this situation and how we can best cope with it.
The first podcast is by Paula Pant explaining that she has had a mild-moderate case of COVID-19 and her experiences over the last 2 weeks. It seems like some people get barely any symptoms while others become incredibly poorly with it but hearing first hand what it felt like for someone who didn’t need hospitalisation was very interesting. Her podcast about financial matters and critical thinking is one I listen to regularly and I highly recommend.
I was already very much in the camp of strict social distancing but this account talking about what it felt like as well as her challenges in getting medical advice and a COVID test has helped to galvanise my position. If anyone out there is unsure about why it is so important to follow the advice we are being given to try to slow down the spread of this bizarre new virus I urge you to listen to this: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/afford-anything/id1079598542?i=1000470340889
The second podcast I am sharing today is looking at this new way of living in isolation and giving some really sensible practical advice about how to make it work well for you. This covers ways to work effectively from home (could be relevant both for students in the coming months as well as for those who are suddenly finding that their commute has reduced to a few metres from the kitchen to the living room) as well as ways to stay healthy, build good habits in relation to social media and the news and also how to stay connected with local communities and loved ones. This is the first podcast by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness who are the authors of Peak Performance and The Passion Paradox. If any part of this podcast resonates with you then I would highly recommend you listen to Peak Performance as it will really help you to build on these foundations. It is a book I have both read and listened to repeatedly over the last few years. You can find my review of that book here: https://www.drchrisharper.co.uk/blog/revisiting-peak-performance
And here is their first podcast:
If you have found any other really good blog posts, articles or podcasts that you think are worth sharing I would love to hear about them.
And above all please stay home and stay safe.
I have decided to put together a post explaining my situation with this blog and Facebook so that people can both understand my actions but also so that if anyone else finds themselves in a similar position this may be a useful resource.
Facebook has been a significant part of my life. I joined in the early 2000s when the site was very different. It was designed then really to only work on a desktop or laptop, there was no like button and the feed was something you could actually get to the bottom off! Over time the platform has changed and personally I feel that has been a double edged sword. It has brought greater value and connectivity which has allowed me to share my ideas to help further the dental profession in a way that just wouldn’t have been possible a decade earlier. But it has also brought some negative side effects in the form of a very addictive quality to its current platform setup and I will be honest in saying I have found it difficult to achieve a good personal balance with it.
In the summer of 2018 I decided to take a break from the platform and my blog and I deleted the app from my phone. There were a few main reasons behind this break.
- My workload in practice was at an all time high. The move to Pinhoe was going great but was also proving to be a lot more work than anticipated in terms of time and attention.
- I was very much enjoying my work as a clinical supervisor and wanted to further this as well by working through the application to get a post-grad teaching qualification in the form of AFHEA.
- And above all I wanted the summer holidays to be about connecting with my family and recharging my batteries.
I fully intended at that time to be back using FB come the start of the new term. However the “social sabbatical” quite quickly brought some realisations and additional unexpected benefits so I decided to keep the experiment rolling on for a while. The final part of that experiment has been to come back to FB recently, which I have done to help my wife get her new business venture off the ground. If anyone in Devon either has any baby/children’s clothes or toys etc that they want to prevent going to landfill or if they wish to purchase those items at significantly less than the normal price please see here for info about upcoming markets she will be running:
So what benefits have I found from my time away from FB and what realisations have I made by coming back?
- FB most definitely has an addictive draw for me. Even with a 9 month break from the site I have found it very easy to slip back into my old mindless scrolling habits.
- Without that draw I sleep better. Even though I previously had some pretty strict rules for myself of no FB after work and phone on airplane mode at 8pm I still definitely sleep better without that mental niggle.
- I have a lot more attention to give to other things. This includes my family but also other hobbies. I have taken up learning the piano and am really enjoying that.
- I can read for enjoyment. For a couple of years reading was always attached to the idea creating reviews/finding insights to share on the blog.
- My productivity at work has improved. Those that have followed my previous posts will know this is something I am passionate about and have worked hard on. Coming off social has allowed me to improve my skills both clinically as well as personally for my patients.
So it is for all these reasons that I am deciding to leave FB indefinitely. I will be around for a short while to help Jem and to check responses to this post in case others have any questions for me if they find themselves in a similar situation but beyond that will be aiming to leave FB for good. Please note that this is not meant as an attack against the platform or anyone who decides to continue to use it. FB has given me a lot and massively furthered my dental knowledge however I have just decided on balance I will be better without it.
My plans going forward:
I will be keeping my blog website active as a potentially useful resource for the hundreds who have previously said it was or others who may stumble across it. I may return to an occasional blog post just on my website but in a much more relaxed manner than before.
I will aim to connect with individuals more on a 1:1 basis to share my ideas. I am applying to be an academic tutor for the dental school and am very much looking forward to that.
If you wish to reach out to me to share an idea or to get my thoughts on something I would love that and here is how to get that to work well:
1) Have a look at my blog here: http://www.drchrisharper.co.uk If you are seeking info/answers check the relevant sections in the archive and see if they are there.
2) If you still have a question or something to share, go to the contact page on my website and follow the instructions there.
3) Please don’t be offended if I don’t respond straight away. I batch process digital communication to make the most efficient use of my time and attention. If I think it is important I will get back to you.
I have found this type of 1:1 communication with focussed intentions has worked really well since coming off FB. I have had some great back and forth discussions with a number of people and have to say thank you to those individuals who have reached out to me. If you have questions or ideas to share please do so.
And I guess that finally, if this post has resonated with you and you want to either find out more about this topic or wish to research getting some of these benefits for yourself here are some resources you may find useful:
- How to be a productivity ninja by Graham Allcott. The 5th anniversary revised edition really is worth reading.
- Deep Work and Digital Minimalism both by Cal Newport.
- There is a great podcast where Graham is interviewing Cal here: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/beyond-busy/id1093968526?i=1000434640672
- The 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris. Even though this book predates FB becoming huge, the mindset in it about making best use of time and focusing on the big rocks applies to this situation perfectly.
- The 4 pillar plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee. Such a great book which everyone should read.
Love you all
Dr Chris Harper