I woke this morning like Prince Orsino in Twelfth Night calling for music. Randomly, I was calling for Greensleeves. Why Greensleeves? I have no idea except I find it one of the most nostalgic arrangements of Early Music. Of England. Of, ‘A green thought in a green shade’.
I woke too, in the night, with the realisation that regarding the summaries of yesterday’s sessions not one of them had been pre-occupied by COVID. While everyone began by referring to the fact that the world, our world, was feeling crazier by the day… Quickly they moved on to the emotional matrixes of their lives.
World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various. (Louis McNeice)
I was also struck by receiving a concerned and kind notice from our dental practice, nothing to do with my fugitive visit last Friday, providing lockdown tips for dental care which I am posting below. Struck by their recommendation for frequent gargling with salt, something the Government poo-poohed. I understand salt has no magical properties when it comes to disinfecting COVID, but it would be a commendable national habit to adopt in terms of general oral hygiene during lockdown at least. The Government seems to have overlooked along with so much else, with the unilateral and indiscriminate dental lockdown that the oral cavity, the mouth, is a highway of potential infection to other organs. The Oral Health Foundation reports:
Undetected tooth infections could increase the risk of heart disease by almost three times, according to new research. The study, published in the Journal of Dental Research1, has found that people with untreated tooth infections are 2.7 times more likely to have cardiovascular problems, such as coronary artery disease, than patients who have had treatment of dental infections.
We have been gargling with salt, (many mouthwashes contain undesirable levels of alcohol), once a day since COVID became manifest. On our dentist’s sensible recommendations below we will now up our game. I shall confess another minor obsession: I clean Dido’s teeth every morning except for the weekends which are days of canine dental rest!
Our dental practice writes: There are steps you can take to guard against dental emergencies:
· Most importantly, keep up your oral hygiene at home. The majority of toothpastes have significant anti-microbial agents – similar detergents to those used in hand washing. Cleaning between your teeth with interdental brushes and/or floss is recommended in addition to brushing twice a day for two minutes.
· If you feel any pain starting, you should rinse with salt-water two-three times a day to reduce bacteria in your mouth. If you cannot control the pain with regular pain relief medication, please call us. You will be triaged, and we will recommend any required next steps which may involve antibiotics. We may ask you to send in a photo to help us review your problem.
· Avoid popcorn. Many hard foods can crack teeth and lead to an emergency, especially if the tooth has already had prior treatment. Olive pits, hard chocolate and nuts are also commonly involved in cracked teeth and should be avoided.
· If you have had a bite-guard made and been advised to use it, please do. This will help reduce the stresses on your teeth and the potential for breaking teeth and restorations.
· Don’t use your teeth as tools. While it may sound obvious, biting on the edges of your front teeth can fracture them. Opening plastic bags, chewing fingernails, etc., should also be avoided.
· If you have a temporary crown in place, take care not to put too much pressure on it while eating.
Breakfast is now being served. Yesterday, I also ended the day having a serious conversation with the ‘lighthouse observer’ about omelettes. I have just received the one ‘they’ served in social isolation to themselves this morning. I may have to compete tonight.
I received another gift today to share. A poem, Psalm from the ‘novice’ although I think she has now taken her vows, who wrote the poem after being distressed by two April Tornado’s in Kentucky:
PSALM Amy Gardner
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
Nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Bulging raindrops pound holy walls,
Bouncing off the picket fence,
Slanting into the slated wood,
The church stands like a toy
on an island of wet grass and graves,
The wind rages, God’s fat raindrops
turn to fireballs of hail,
Piercing the black inked sky,
So thick the clouds,
Even the icicles lose their way.
A lone dog barks, freezing the air,
Only lifted by a transistor radio
crackling behind the alter,
Muffled notes sing through
the haze; Jolene, Jolene,
Where is Jolene now?
she’d have blown the big man out
of this treacherous sky,
Bowled him right back beyond
the heavens above.
He’d be so high
He’d wonder how
to float back down.
He’d see Peter at his pearly gate
and the souls lined up
that He’d lifted there that day
when their houses blew to bits,
But a modern-day Mary
was saved, sheltering with a baby
in her arms, his hollow cries
echoing against the tunnel walls.