She leaned over me and said, “Oh it’s so good to see you. How are you?”

Even though her white mask covered most of her face, I could still see the edges of her eyes crinkling up and so I knew she was smiling.

I smiled back. “So good to see you! I can see your eyes smiling.” I said, to let her know I knew.

Ah, what a good, needed, warm, crucial experience. Human contact. I have never before been so glad to see my dentist!

Pandemic isolation has so limited our eye-to-eye, face-to-face, skin-on-skin relationships that we are starving for the physical presence of others. A voice on the phone, a face on a screen is good, a privilege, but it is not the same as soft skin close or eyes so near you can see the gleam, the warm brown or beautiful green or soft blues of life.

It reminds me how important our relationships are. My dentist isn’t just my dentist. She has done high quality dental work for my wife and I and my daughters for years. She took special care of my daughters, so patient with all of us and gentle. She called me on a weekend recently on her way in to work to check on me.

After the pandemic is over the governments of the world will be judged on how well they helped people. The same question might be asked of any of us. Probably no one will ask, but we could ask ourselves? How much was I there for other people during the pandemic?

I‘ve been wondering how I might help other people during this time? A text, a call, a smile for someone behind a counter, a gift to a family member, an expression of appreciation for services rendered, a donation to an organization providing food, a volunteer role, a helpful blog post.

I love the care my dentist recently gave me. I wonder if through the pandemic and after someone might say about me. “I love the care he gave me.”

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