The bright side, Part 1

Burnett balances Zoom work world with joys of boys, baking and the basics
April 23rd, 2020

“This photo was taken back when I actually wore makeup and we had professionals cutting our hair. We look less polished these days, and now I use my dental hand skills on the boys for backyard haircuts.”—Dr. Janna Burnett


Editor’s note: New routines and conquered challenges go hand in hand with stay-at-home orders to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But lifestyle changes also open up new possibilities. In this series, we hear how a few Texas A&M College of Dentistry employees are making the most of their time outside the office.

Dr. Janna Burnett, clinical assistant professor, Department of Comprehensive Dentistry

2009 Texas A&M College of Dentistry graduate

My husband, Chris, and I have 5-year-old twins, Miller and Elliott, whose current favorite activity is being sprayed by the garden hose and baking cookies for family and neighbors. They are typical dentist’s kids: They LOVE sugar and try to sneak dough when I’m not looking.

We’ve been able to tackle a few home projects as a family, like staining our fence and planting a spring garden, and we try to involve the boys at every level. We play a lot of board and card games as a family and have increased our movie nights. On Saturday nights, weather-permitting, we sing “Corona Karaoke” in our front yard and take song requests via text from our neighbors, who are sitting in their driveways. Chris captured some recent memorable family moments in a “Corona Diaries” video, which he filmed, produced and voiced.

Scheduling has been a little tricky in quarantine; Chris and I have a shared family calendar for our respective work Zoom meetings and try to make a game plan the night before. Miller and Elliott also have Zoom meetings twice a day with their preschool teachers and classmates. Sometimes all four of us are zooming at the same time.

We’re able to switch off working during the day, and usually the boys and I go for a (socially distant) walk or scooter ride while Chris, who works as a voiceover talent, is recording commercials or e-learning projects out of his home studio. I’ve learned quickly it’s best for me to record my lectures at night after the kids go to sleep, because they have been known to yell embarrassing things mid-lecture!

It isn’t smooth sailing every day, but I’m so grateful to have a healthy family, to be able to do my job remotely and have a safe home to shelter in. I do miss my students and co-workers though.

The bright side, Part 2

The bright side, Part 3

The bright side, Part 4

The bright side, Part 5

The bright side, Part 6

The bright side, Part 7

— Carolyn Cox