COVID-19 diaries with Komal Chopra: Cohort Corona - Class of 2020

Next in COVID-19 diaries is final year dental student, Komal Chopra...

Komal, a final year dental student at Peninsula University

Hi, my name is Komal. I am a 5th year Dental Student due to graduate in 2020, making me an exclusive member of Cohort Corona.

September 2015: After a long and draining application process, I have finally started my BDS. Though qualifying is years away and I have a lot to learn, I know that I am so close to one of the biggest achievements of my life. I cannot wait to make some amazing memories. 

September 2019: It has been four years since I started my degree, so much has happened. I have grown academically, professionally and in my personal life. I will be unpacking my things, living with my friends and starting a new academic year, all for the last time. 

December 2019: DFT applications and interviews are done! It was stressful, but now I can celebrate and prepare for the final hurdle. I am so close to the finish line, nervous but excited to get there. 

January 2020: The last term of final year has started, how exciting to think this year I will finally graduate and become a dentist! We have all heard of the virus buy now, but it doesn't seem that serious. 

March 2020: We routinely ask all our patients if they have been abroad or have any flu-like symptoms. There are rumours that schools will be closing, but no one is sure what will happen yet. Clinic bays are filled with discussions and speculation on how we will finish our cases for finals and if our last day will be before the Easter Holidays. 

One afternoon at around 2pm it is announced that today, 17th March is our last day. I am working on a difficult crown prep, it is hard to concentrate once I hear the news. This will be my last procedure at dental school, the last time I can ask a supervisor for help, the last time I work with a clinical partner. I won't get to say goodbye to my patients! My friends and I sit in our house in shock, crying and laughing as we process the sudden end to our university life and reminisce. We go to the beach one last time, then pack up our things and say our goodbyes over the next few days. 

May 2020: It has been around 2 months since university abruptly ended and almost a week sicne our final exam which was a case presentation conducted remotely on Zoom. We celebrated end of exams on Zoom too, and graduation is cancelled until further notice. 

Looking ahead in 2020: We are in the middle of a pandemic that has affected everyone in some way, so for now I am letting go of the worries of the past and fears of the future by focusing on the present. 

  • Practising self-care by avoiding information overload, getting fresh air, reading, exercising
  • Checking up on family and friends through Facetime, Zoom quiz nights, at home activities
  • Appreciating our Front line workers and helping wherever possible via community groups and apps
As for dentistry, I will be using this time to learn from the generous and wise online community of dentists so I'll be ready for my first day at work... whenever that may be!

A final trip to the beach

Do you want to write a COVID-19 diary? Please get in touch! Whether you're a dental student, foundation dentist, dental core trainee, associate, dental nurse, therapist I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

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