Back in April, KUNR talked with multiple small businesses in Gardnerville about the early impacts of COVID-19 on their operations.
At that time, Lindsey Torres, the co-owner of Carson Valley Dental Arts, was concerned about being unable to treat non-emergency patients and not having enough hours for her employees.
Perez: Where would you say your business is right now?
Torres: I would say our business is back to normal, pre-pandemic.
Perez: Oh wow, that’s really good to hear.
Torres: Yeah, I would say it’s pretty much back to normal. We are still limited in what we can do. Our hygiene [service] is limited because they don’t want extra aerosols in the air. We are not able to see quite as many hygiene patients per day because our hygienist has to do everything by hand rather than using a Waterpik. That’s probably where we are still a little slower than where we typically were before the pandemic. But patients, like I said, have been very accepting of the changes and things, and been willing to proceed forward with their treatment.
Perez: I know that you’re doing well now, but you had mentioned that the past few months had been challenging at some points. What has kept you and your office going?
Torres: I truly do feel that we are blessed, in that our staff gets along well together and they were supporting one another. Throughout the whole pandemic we tried to have at least one staff member working every single day just to get [them] a little bit of hours. And I felt like they were supportive of one other, ‘Ok, you work Monday-Tuesday, I’ll work Wednesday-Thursday.’ They were adapting to our hours as they were cut back. And then, even now, now that we’re back to kind of more regular working hours, they still are really great with supporting one another. If, for example, somebody has to leave to go take care of their child for school they are willing to take on those extra hours and come in and cover any problems. I do feel like they have been supportive of one another.
Perez: Are you pretty optimistic then?
Torres: Yeah, I mean it’s hard to really tell, obviously, because we still don’t know what’s gonna happen come wintertime when flu season kicks back up again. But we’re hopeful that with the additional restrictions that they’ve already placed, that those restrictions can just help us avoid future closures. We’re already wearing face masks, we’re already avoiding aerosols, we’re already having hand sanitizing stations. We’re hopeful that it will help avoid future closures in the fall and wintertime.
Perez: And then, I guess, one final question, how have other businesses that you work with, how have they been doing?
Torres: It’s been different depending on the type of business. I serve on the board of Main Street Gardnerville, and we’ve had some that took a little bit longer for them to have customers coming back through the door. And I know that some other businesses have had difficulties with getting people to wear masks inside their offices and their businesses. But I really do feel like the majority of business owners have been optimistic about the future. I think you have to be. If you don't have that optimistic attitude then it can become a really dark and lonely place. So if you can have an optimistic attitude during this time, then it will serve you better for whatever happens ahead. I do know that there have been some businesses that have suffered greatly financially, and they won’t be able to recover, and my heart goes out to them. But I would just encourage people to continue to support their local businesses and continue to wear masks whenever possible.
Perez: Alright, thank you very much for your time.
Torres: Alright, well thank you so much.
Jayden Perez is a senior at the Reynolds School of Journalism.