By Linda Conlin, Pro to Pro Managing Editor

On a recent phone call, a friend said, “Living with COVID in 2020 was like looking both ways before crossing the street, then getting hit by an airplane.” It suddenly tested our innovation, resiliency, patience, and stamina in ways we never imagined possible just a year ago. But we survived because we found ways to work around and through the difficulties, and we helped each other.

With vaccines on the horizon, we can look forward to 2021 and doing more of what we love to do – helping people see. And we will do it having learned more hygienic and efficient ways of practicing. I suspect that we will approach our patients with a little more appreciation and empathy, too. We’ll be glad they are with us after their own 2020 hardships. We’ll appreciate the suppliers and labs who found ways to work with us so all of us could survive, as well as colleagues who shared their coping methods.

We learned a great deal about the importance of kindness. It’s likely none of us will ever know the impact of a kind word or deed for a stranger. We may not even know what it was we did. For example, staying calm and patient while waiting in line to go into a store may have helped others remain so. A word of thanks to those who work in essential businesses may come naturally but meant so much more in the current circumstances. That little extra tip for a takeout order could have made a big difference for that worker, and the list goes on. The most valuable thing we can take with us into 2021 is keeping that kindness going by remembering what it means all of the time. 

So cheers to us who are determined to get through this with more that was gained than lost. With just a little more perseverance, we can look forward to so many of the things we missed this year – time with friends, family, and colleagues, letting go of the fear, and moving forward with confidence in our strength and abilities. We know it will get better, and that gives us a great deal to be cheerful about, even though the upcoming holidays will be non-traditional.

I wish all our readers, contributors and supporters peace and joy for the holidays, and a bold and successful New Year. Thank you for being with us!