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Like just about everything else, Halloween 2020 will be different than a normal year. If you don't have a costume picked out, but find yourself needing one, here's some last-minute costume ideas for dental professionals that seem appropriate for 2020.
Halloween is usually a fun time of year. Candy and sticky, sugary sweets aside, the holiday is usually a great time for decorating, dressing up, and just having fun with friends, family, and colleagues. A glance at the calendar months ago made Halloween 2020 look to be a great one with the holiday falling on a Saturday with not just a full moon, but a blue moon too.
Of course, this is 2020 and that means nothing is going according to any plan from months back. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is in the midst of a massive resurgence, and large gatherings, traditional trick or treating, and other usual Halloween fun are simply not safe right now. But dressing up in costumes is still safe, and whether you'll be doing a virtual Halloween party, or visiting houses with candy chutes and other socially distant Halloween adjustments, or taking part in any other Halloween activities, costumes can be a lot of fun.
If you find yourself still in need of a costume at this late date, you can still put together something great. Read through this slideshow to see some scary (by 2020 standards) and fun dental-themed costume ideas that are relatively simple to create.
An Empty Box of PPE
At the outset of the pandemic, PPE was in short supply, especially for dental practices that donated their inventory to local hospitals and other health care providers. These supply chain breakdowns were much more than a headache and they've continued intermittently as the year has gone on. So the prospect of an empty box of masks, gowns, gloves, or face shields is definitely something that should frighten dental professionals this year.
To make this into a quick and easy costume the main thing needed is a big box or a bunch of cardboard that can be used to build a box.
That's all it takes to make this costume which is uniquely scary in 2020. Read on for more ideas on the scarier side of things.
A Closure Notice
Perhaps nothing is scarier to dental professionals than the prospect of another shutdown. The spring of 2020 was unprecedented, and a majority of dental practices were almost completely shut down from mid-March through April—and in some cases well beyond that. While the industry has been working to gain wider acceptance that dentistry is safe and essential health care, even during a pandemic, the shutdown was one of the scariest things to happen to the dental industry this year. It can also make for an easy and fun costume.
For this costume, you really just need a couple of pieces of poster board, some fabric or elastic strips, and paint or markers.
This one is simple, quick, and fun, but it will definitely be scary to colleagues.
An Ultrasonic Scaler
As dental practices have adapted to the "new normal" of working during a pandemic, adjustments have been made to scheduling, workflows, personal protective equipment protocols, and of course clinical approaches. Concerns over the spread of the coronavirus in aerosolized droplets created during dental procedures have led to a big reduction in the use of devices that general aerosols. A chief culprit has been ultrasonic scaling, which many practices have sidelined in favor of a return to hand scaling, which might be slower, more exhausting, and more labor-intensive, but is also far less likely to generate significant amounts of aerosolized virus particles.
So, while an ultrasonic scaler might be an odd Halloween costume idea most years, in 2020 it could bring a fright to your fellow dentists, hygienists, assistants, and other dental industry professionals. Once again cardboard is a main supply for this one, but a hat and some wire or a wire coat hanger can also be used with this one.
Now you're all set to start scaling and generating those scary aerosols. Speaking of which, check out the next slide for another scary costume idea.
Sure to scare more than just your colleagues, because who hasn't spent at least part of 2020 wondering if they've accidentally inhaled this pandemic-causing scourge, dressing as the coronavirus might be a bit too on the nose, but this costume goes a step further to really be the virus as it's most frightening in dental settings. It's also the most complex costume idea on this list, but it's one sure to make an impact.
To make this costume you'll need a very large ball (like a fitness ball) that you don't mind cutting up or some paper mache to make a large ball around yours. You'll also need some cardboard, or another solid material like craft foam and clear plastic sheets or bags, as well as clear tape.
This is definitely a costume that will get some attention and should be scary to many. However, if this costume seems like it's in bad taste, check out the next slide for a costume idea that can clean this one up.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things in dental operatories. Some systems are not being used, others used more than ever, and new technologies are showing up. Many of these changes are efforts to mitigate the risks of aerosolized virus particles, and air filtration and suction at the point of care have become fairly common. For practices with integrated HVE solutions, using those has been shown to be effective at capturing aerosols. Air filtration systems using UV light, HEPA filters, and other strategies are also good solutions. But neither of those makes for as fun of a costume as an extraoral vacuum. These new systems put a cone connected to a hose right near the patient's mouth to employ extraoral suction to capture the aerosols.
Making this costume requires a box, but also some large flexible hosing and large funnels (which could be made from cardboard or thin plastic if you don't have actual funnels handy.
Now you're all set to suck up all the Halloween fun. But of course, vacuums alone can't keep us safe, so read on for another idea based on one of the most important items of the year.
Hard to find back in the spring, the N95 (and sometimes the KN95) mask is an important safety device for frontline healthcare providers. It can also make a fun Halloween costume that can show off your dedication to safety. While the costume likely won't offer anyone any real protection, it should be a hit with anyone who sees it.
To make this costume you'll need some cardboard or fabric, some fabric strips or elastic and a little paint or a marker.
Masks are certainly ubiquitous this year, but they're not the only costume idea keeping us safe. Read on for another safety-focused idea.
Tub of Wipes
Antiseptic wipes have been a part of the standard infection prevention strategies for dental practices for quite a while. Easy to use and convenient, they're a great approach for sanitizing hard surfaces between appointments. This year, wipes have also been hard to find on occasion, making them doubly topical as a fun and easy costume idea.
Once again this idea begins with a piece of posterboard, and the design can be quicky completed with some thin, white fabric, and a bit of extra cardboard.
Safety and caution have been a bit part of the dental industry's response to the pandemic, but read on for another costume idea highlighting industry changes this year.
Teledentistry wasn't invented in 2020, but it certainly experienced a boom this year. First activated during the practice shut down in the spring, teledentistry became a reliable approach to staying in touch with patients, pre-screening emergencies, and providing care and advice when physical contact isn't required. It can also be a fun and easy costume.
This costume begins with (you guessed it) a box. This large box and some markers or paint are pretty much it for the supplies here. The idea is to create the outside of a smartphone, tablet, or computer monitor with a cutout where the screen would be for you to appear.
This can be a fun costume for two people as one person can dress up as a patient in distress and the other can be the clinical providing remote care. This wraps up the dental themed costume ideas, but click through to the last slide for one more simple costume idea that a fit for 2020.
This term is definitely a big part of everyone's vocabulary by now. As the main coronavirus mitigation strategy, this term has popularly been associated with the recommended distance of 6 feet. (although research has cast plenty of doubt on whether or not this is far enough to be safe.) But the six feet of distance does work wonderfully to make a quick and simple, classic Halloween pun costume.
For this costume, all you need is three pairs of shoes (or if you'd like to go the extra mile, 6 fake feet which could be found among Halloween decorations.
Whether you go with one of these ideas, or a different costume of your own, have a safe, fun, and healthy Halloween from everyone at Dental Products Report.
(But if you do go with any of these ideas, please send us a picture.)