By Charlie Feldman
“Hi, everyone. Bri Oller here. And I am about to get real with you.”
Dentist Briana Beyers Oller of Simply Smiles in Glen Carbon has coronavirus, but hasn’t spread it to any of her patients, she assured the public in a live Facebook message on Thursday, April 2.
“Do your part to follow the social distancing guidelines,” she warned in her post. “I started this before the mandate even occurred. And I can say today that we’ve been in contact with all of the staff members and the patients that I saw the week before my symptoms occurred. And all of them are symptom-free.”
Drawn-looking, telling viewers that she was suffering from a high fever and a headache that had lasted for days, she assured them last Thursday that her patients were not at risk from her office.
“We are sixteen days out,” she said then. “So, there was no exposure in my office. And because I stayed home, I have not continued to spread this. And I am so thankful for that.”
In her post, she said she and her mother must have been exposed to the virus on March 13 while out in the community and that she saw her last patient and went into voluntary quarantine on March 17, before her headache began. Her headache is still there, as well as her fever, said her dental hygienist Monica Ellebracht in a telephone conversation on Monday, April 6.
“Actually, she’s feeling better,” she said. “Her breathing has gotten better.”
She said social distancing was one of the most important reasons Oller sent the message. She said Oller has no idea where she caught the virus.
“Honestly, she really doesn’t know,” Ellebracht said.
Her office will be closed until at least April 30 in accordance with the extended recommendation from the American Dental Association and the Illinois Dental Society. When she will open it again depends on guidelines from those groups and from Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. And something else.
“It all depends on how she’s feeling,” Ellebracht said. “She can’t open the office until she’s 100 percent better.”
“For today,” Oller said at the end of her Facebook post, “I beg you to please take this seriously. We will all get through this. And when I get to the other side of this, I will be a survivor. And I will be able to help out however I can to help with this fight. But for now, I will continue my recovery at home and I will ask you to do your part so we can get through this.”
By Monday afternoon, the post had been shared five times.