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Out Of Work Because Of Coronavirus: Dental Hygienist

Alli Shofe
Courtesy of Alli Shofe

"You spend the majority of your life with the people you work with, and we haven’t seen each other in weeks."

Name: Alli Shofe
Age: 40
Hometown: Wilmington
Marital Status: single
Job Status: furloughed dental hygienist
Current savings: $4,000
Healthcare: employer is paying for it, for the time being

Details: Alli has been a dental hygienist since graduating from Cape Fear Community College in 2009. She has been at her current job for almost 2.5 years, and earns about $53,000 a year. She last saw patients on March 18th. Nine other colleagues have also been furloughed.

"The American Dental Association, North Carolina Dental Board, and CDC all agreed that anything dental would be a high-risk environment as we deal with a lot aerosol and saliva they recommended we halt all non-emergent care," Shofe said. "My boss sat us all down. I felt very at peace with his decisions. We not only have to take care of ourselves, but we have to take care of our patients and set a good example for them."

Most worried about:
"The longevity of this. Living day-by-day is kind of unstable. I worry more about my patients."

How she’s getting by:
"There are so many negative things out there, that I try to stick with the positive. I'm using the time to read more, run more, FaceTime with my niece and nephew who I can't see in-person. I'm doing classes on-line. There are a lot of positive things you can bring from it, but it's hard."

Jeff Tiberii covers politics for WUNC. Before that, he served as the station's Greensboro Bureau Chief.
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