The phone call from the dentist’s office interrupted the woman’s quiet lunch. Sunny, the receptionist, said, “I am going to have to re-schedule your two crowns on the implants. We can only do emergencies now. I will call you when we open up again.”

Helen said, “Re-schedule! Sometime? I’ve got two top front teeth missing. The one left in the middle looks awfully lonely. I look like a witch or a vampire.”  

Sunny said, “I’m sorry, but the virus has changed everything. We must comply with the Governor’s recommendations. I’m the only one in the office. The Doctor has laid off the other eleven of the staff.”

Helen said, “I can’t help that. You are half-way done with the implants. One tooth socket has the pin sticking out of it. The other is empty space. I look like my snaggle toothed granny. I’m ashamed to go out even the once a week to go shopping.”

Sunny said, “I can understand that. I would be too. We were going to get you a temporary plate made, but they closed down the lab before it got finished.”

“What good will it do me later? I already paid you $500 for it. Implants are expensive enough. The periodontist got $2000 each to put those little pieces of pig bone in the socket and you all get $1000 each for the pins and crowns. At least in the old days when you had gold fillings you would end up with something of value in your mouth.”

Sunny said, “I know it’s frustrating to stay at home and there’s nowhere to go anyway. I hope your kids are coping. Mine are finding that texting gets old after days of it. They see some of their friends on Skype but it’s not the same.”

Helen said, “I miss church the most. I can do the six feet distance thing in the grocery store, but those are strangers. MY friends are all in church. We tried bumping elbows, but that felt silly. We all began to feel a little guilty for doing that since it was hard to bump elbows from six feet away. This social distance thing made honest people out of many members. After worship they couldn’t shake the preacher’s hand and mumble the traditional hypocrisy, ‘Good sermon preacher’.  Going out the back door became the right thing to do.  We didn’t get much practice doing it, since they closed the church to all events and use.”

Sunny said, “We did that too. I expect that when we open up again we will all be wearing masks. Could your preacher preach with a mask on? I know you sing in your choir, how would it sound with masks on?”

Helen said, “I don’t know what kind of sound would come out, but I would be all for wearing masks while singing. I could praise the Lord in song, keep my freaky mouth covered, and show off the new two-sided designer mask I just made.”

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