To the Editor:
Covid travel bans have affected us all. Fears of transmitting a potentially fatal disease and the possibility we’d contract the novel virus has kept us home. The susceptibility of Native Americans to Coronavirus was recognized early in the pandemic; Their communities suffered disproportionate losses. For those reason my favorite dental outreach project got put on hold for two years.
April 25, six dental volunteers from four states packed supplies and converged the tiny community of St. Francis Mission, South Dakota, to provide dentistry to Native Americans with no access to health care. Like every vacation, outreach vacations offer escape from the daily grind and open the door to new experiences. Stepping beyond the familiar, going outside your comfort zone, brings challenges. Working in unfamiliar surroundings requires adaptation and innovation while forcing self-discovery and team building. Success of this outreach project would be measure by how quickly six, like minded but unrelated dental volunteers could come together as a team.
For the full letter, see this week’s edition of the Parke County Sentinel.