Why the ‘Home Improvement Effect’ May Be Responsible for an Increased Interest in Plastic Surgery

Encino, CA plastic surgeon George Sanders, MD had never done a virtual consultation until March of this year.

But, once COVID hit, it quickly became commonplace at his practice. 

“At first, there were maybe one or two per week, but then there were many—often several each day,” he recalls. “Not only did patients virtually consult, but they scheduled their surgery in anticipation of the end of the surgery shutdown.”

And the calendar concurs: Since his office reopened for elective procedures in mid-May, the surgery schedule has been filled. “Part of this is due to the backlog of patients who were already scheduled for surgery but had to postpone it. Other patients were planning to have surgery anyway, and now seems like the perfect opportunity.”

However, Dr. Sanders says, there’s a third patient group that never considered surgery and are now drawn to it. 

“When I ask these patients seeking plastic surgery why they are doing it, there are a number of reasons that are given. Home improvement has become a big thing during the pandemic. People are spending more time at home and see the need for home improvement. The same reasoning spills over into plastic surgery—patients have more time to spend looking at themselves and are seeing all sorts of needs that can be met by plastic surgery.”

It also comes as no surprise that many patients are not working, or they are able to work from home and recover there while still doing their job. “This gives those who were thinking about surgery before the pandemic, as well as those who began to think of having surgery during the pandemic, a wonderful opportunity because the element of time is often what is missing from the equation when it comes to recovering from surgery,” Dr. Sanders says.   

Remote Recovery
Over on the opposite coast, New York plastic surgeon Jeffrey S. Yager, MD saw a similar “calendar fill” once his office got the go to reopen in June.

“At first, when we restarted, we were making up for the three months of cases we had to delay,” he says. “But now, we are extremely busy with new patients who see this as an opportunity to have cosmetic surgery due to virtual work situations. By working remotely, a patient can have most plastic surgery procedures done on a Friday and be back at work via Zoom, telephone or computer Monday.”

Dover OH, facial plastic surgeon David Hartman, MD has seen it, too. “Many patients are now working remotely from their homes to a far greater extent than ever—this affords many individuals more control of their work schedules and allows them to be less concerned about more lengthy recovery times,” he says, pinpointing one patient group in particular. 

“We’ve seen this recovery-time-concern decline most notably in men. Working from home has markedly opened the door for men to step forward and schedule cases knowing they can recover, under the radar, from home, while continuing to work. Men seeking cosmetic surgery in our

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COVID-19 business effect: Solstice closes, Mr Friendly’s reopens

Owner Ricky Mollohan’s posts announce closing of popular northeast Columbia restaurant, reopening of Five Points mainstay

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The announcement hit social media around 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28 — Ricky Mollohan has closed Solstice Kitchen in northeast Columbia.

Mollohan, who can be outspoken on social media, said in the Solstice Facebook post that money became the main issue. He had closed both Solstice and Mr Friendly’s restaurants in mid-March, as per Gov. Henry McMaster’s orders in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

WLTX’s Whitney Sullivan and I had interviewed Mollohan on March 17 at Mr. Friendly’s in Five Points. It was supposed to be the restaurant’s 25th anniversary but instead marked the last week of operation — until today. More on that in a minute.

The decision to shutter Solstice was not an easy one. Mollohan had applied for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding from the Small Business Administration but never received any money. Bills — for utilities and taxes –on the brick-and-mortar restaurant on Sparkleberry Lane began to pile up and the landlord decided to put the building up for sale. Still, Mollohan had planned on a soft reopening of Solstice on Tuesday, Sept. 29 with an official reopening on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Looking back, Mollohan said in his post that he probably didn’t plan far enough for the lack of cash flow. “The health and safety of our staff and customers always came first,” he wrote. ” And it was with hopes that we could come out of this with a better plan for the future.”

“In April I thought that planning for three months was sufficient,” Mollohan continues. “It will go down as one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made.”

But it is not all gloom and doom. Mollohan even hints that Solstice may return some day.

Meanwhile, back on March 17, Mr. Friendly’s in Five Points was to begin a 25th anniversary celebration. Mollohan had plans to remodel the space, expand into the empty space next door and revamp the menu. Plans changed. Instead of celebrating, Mollohan had to decide to continue to stay open with limited service, adjust to a take-out only, or close the doors and hope to reopen at a later date.

Mollohan reopening Mr. Friendly’s Tuesday evening. 

The restaurant at 2001-A Greene Street will offer indoor dining — reservations recommended — and take-out service 5-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Lunch service is scheduled to resume Oct. 13. Expect a limited menu as the restaurant ramps up service.

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I worked out of my kitchen for a week and it had a weird effect on my productivity

For the past five years, I lived in a 500 square foot studio apartment in Queens. This may seem too cramped for comfort to others, but as a relatively short person with a small cat, I always felt like I had ample space to do what I needed to do from home. 

That is, until the pandemic hit. My bedroom and living room were now also my office and gym. Being able to see my desk from my bed made it hard to sleep. That lack of sleep made it impossible to be productive.

My kitchen is separated from my living space, but I figured working out of that space would just leave me snacking all day long. 

But if I kept working the way I had been, I feared I’d never get a full night’s sleep again. So, I decided to give working out of my kitchen a try.

Day 1

I had to relocate some of the items on my kitchen counter to make space for my laptop, which ended up taking more time than I expected.

That put me behind for my morning meeting – but now that I was seated directly next to my coffee maker, I was able to participate on the call while making my morning cup of coffee. Things were working out already. 

Day 2

I had been hoping to see an immediate improvement in sleep by moving my office to my kitchen, but it seemed like this was going to take time. I woke up groggily on day two after a night of tossing and turning, headed to my kitchen and got to work.

By noon my lack of sleep haze had started to subside. I found myself looking over at my windowsill, which has a variety of succulents on it. This offered a welcome break from my screen but kept the temptation to turn on the TV at bay since it was in the other room. 

Day 3

By the morning of day three, I was finally sleeping better. I moved through the workday more efficiently, and found myself feeling more creative during brainstorm meetings.

As it turns out, there’s actually some science behind this. When you use a dedicated space to complete a specific task, it increases your motivation to complete it. Which is probably why sleeping, working out, working in and relaxing in the same space was not working out for me.

Day 4

On day four I not only felt more productive, but my overall mood had been impacted for the better. As ridiculous as it sounds, I looked forward to entering my kitchen in the morning after I’d gotten ready for the day in the other half of my studio apartment.

One coworker remarked that she felt more enthusiasm from me this week than she had all of quarantine. Things were looking up. 

Day 5-6

Day five of this experiment fell on a Friday. Before I moved my office to the kitchen, Fridays had been my least

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Toll hikes in effect on NJ Turnpike, Garden State Parkway

TRENTON, N.J. — Toll hikes on several major New Jersey highways went into effect Sunday morning.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority voted in May to increase tolls by 36% on the New Jersey Turnpike and by 27% on the Garden State Parkway.

On average, the toll hike is about an additional $1.30 on the New Jersey Turnpike. The cost of the Parkway’s cash tolls at mainline plazas jumped about 40 cents.

Tolls on the Atlantic City Expressway also increased.

The board’s 7-0 decision was made despite pleas from many people to delay the vote because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The toll increases will help fund a $24 billion construction capital plan that spans several decades.

Meanwhile, gas prices in the state have dipped and analysts expect the decline to continue.

The average price of a gallon of regular gas in New Jersey on Friday was $2.22, down 2 cents from the week before, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.20, also down 2 cents from the previous week.

Analysts say the approach of fall generally means decreased demand and therefore savings at the pump, but gas prices could drop even lower than prices seen so far this year.

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