Here we are, back in Level 4 lockdown, which really seemed inevitable when we look at the impact of the Delta variant globally, but still came as a shock when I stepped off the plane from my 2-day holiday in Aitutaki to the news of a Covid-related government announcement!
That announcement now feels like a very long time ago, as we have been busy beavers despite the lockdown, and a lot of us continuing to work solidly over the lockdown period. Our huge celebration last week was the launch of our beautiful new website – which has been several years in the making! You can check out our ‘facelift’ at www.thefaceplace.co.nz – I’m super proud of what the team has accomplished – and we’d love to hear what you think!
I had headed up to Aitutaki for a couple of days of kiting, to get my skills back up before trying to tackle the crazy, gusty winds here over the NZ summer. It was definitely a mixed bag of a holiday, with the frustrations of ‘island time’ when I only had a 2-day window for everything I wanted to do, but I’m glad I got one good day of kiting in, and even managed to stand up and ride by the end of the day 😹 (coral cuts and all!)
I literally arrived back in Auckland on the plane with just one hour before the announcement that took us into Level 4 at midnight. Our team were incredible, with everyone ‘manning stations’ with ease and flow to get appointments notified, and comms out on social media about the lockdown. This time around seems a little bit easier and less uncertain than the last Level 4 lockdown, despite the clinics being completely closed, and no possible revenue until we can start to ship skin products in Level 3.
MBIE has been very clear this time, confirming that shipping skin products (even prescription skin products) is not seen as an essential business. As a best practice clinic, we respect that – we want to get out of lockdown and back to seeing you as quickly as possible! Please continue to support us by ordering your products online via our incredible new easy-to-use web store, and you will get priority shipping as soon as we are legally allowed to ship in Level 3!
A wee reminder that we also offer virtual consults and virtual ‘chats’ with clinicians, where you can ask any questions, discuss new procedures you might have had your eye on – and whether they might be right for you. And if it’s been a year or more since your last consent, now is a good time to make a virtual appointment to get that out of the way, so we can purely focus on your treatments when we see you in Level 2 – meaning less time in clinic for you, and allowing us to catch up on our backlog of patients a little faster (and hopefully get you an appointment sooner!). We appreciate you taking the time now while things are a little more open, so we can accommodate you better when we are slammed once we go back! Just hop online here and choose Virtual Consults from the dropdown menu. (Note: our system still makes you select either Takapuna or Britomart first to get to the dropdown, but it doesn’t matter which one you choose.)
I’ve been super busy with Allergan Faculty meetings, and last week sat on a virtual Advisory Board for Botox and Juvederm for Australasia. One of the positive outcomes from the Ad Board was that we recommended no restrictions with Botox and vaccines, which was an update on previous recommendations that had been put in place as a precaution. So you can now have Botox and the Covid-19 vaccine on the same day if you want to. The 2-week stand-down period for the vaccine on either side of a filler treatment remains in place, but you can have Botox, PRP or skin treatments at any time around the Covid-19 vaccine.
During lockdown last year, I started on a research paper with some international colleagues on ‘Treating Ageing Changes of Facial Anatomical Layers with Hyaluronic Acid Fillers’, and on Sunday (which happened to be my birthday!) we got notification that it had finally been published in the peer-reviewed global journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. In the paper, we outlined what happens during facial ageing in each of the five facial layers, and then the qualities of the different fillers to be used in each layer, and why we choose those fillers. It has been a huge labour of love, and a real honour working with incredible industry-leading doctors from India, Norway, Brazil, Italy, Indonesia, the Netherlands and Australia. What an awesome birthday present seeing it finally published!
It was my second lockdown birthday in two years, but Sunday was still a very special day. I was meant to be in Queenstown after our local NZSCM conference, and had booked the Onsen, and wanted to do the i-Fly, a snowmobile tour and/or snowboarding. Instead, my flatmate, Shareen made me breakfast in bed, and then I had a virtual makeup lesson with my beautiful friend (and favourite makeup artist) @ranishortland_makeupartist 🥰 to help me look gorgeous (and learn how to put makeup on my new eyes) before we went live online with a virtual birthday party! Being in lockdown meant I had friends and family who could join in from around the country, Australia, Bali, and my mum and stepdad David joined us from Canada! Mum had sent me an espresso martini cocktail kit for my birthday – those of you who have seen me on coffee know that I get a little bit ‘excited’ 😹 It was the first alcohol I’ve had during lockdown, and I might have had some champagne after as well. I didn’t feel so well waking up the next morning, so I’m back to my lockdown health kick!
I recognise that lockdown life can be extremely stressful for so many people, but I’m hoping you are starting to find some routine, and flex into the lockdown lifestyle again. We are going to be incredibly busy when we come out of lockdown, so please be patient with us while we try to find and juggle appointments for you once we hit Level 2. We will try to find some extended hours to accommodate the backlog of appointments, and I’m also conscious that our team has to have some life balance to ensure we can give you our best 100% attention when we see you.
Once we have some clarity about when we will reopen, then we will be able to contact those of you with appointments that have been missed, and you will get the opportunity for priority booking. In the meantime, hold tight, be safe, stay in your bubble so we get out of this lockdown faster, get vaccinated to protect yourself and those around you, and most of all – be kind – to yourself as well as those around you!
Sending you love and hugs, and 🤞🤞 that we get out of lockdown sooner rather than later…
Dr Cat 😻💓