This coronavirus has been a mother. But it’s also the Mother of Invention.

Here’s one way I’ve adapted to our new circumstances. In the pre-pandemic days, which seems like an eternity ago, I had the luxury of producing and hosting LTv, the video portion of 20/20’s monthly e-newsletter RxPertise at a professional studio in midtown Manhattan. I had access to a director, technicians, remote controlled cameras, a teleprompter, a set with a green screen and editors with full post-production capabilities. All that vanished with the COVID-19 lockdown.

Despite the lack of resources, I knew we had to find a way to keep in touch with you, our readers and viewers. You depend on us to stay informed and educated about all things optical, and frankly, we depend on you too. The show must go on. So out of necessity, I turned my living room into a makeshift video studio.

My wife Debbie and I used the items we had at hand to substitute for what we lacked. Fortunately, we’re musicians, so we were able to repurpose a few pieces of gear. We rubber banded a smartphone to a mic stand, with the camera facing our new set. Another mic stand, positioned nearby, held a remote mic. This freed us from relying on the smartphone’s mic to pick up my voice and gave us flexibility with the camera’s position.

A music stand held a laptop at eye level which served as a teleprompter. Background music was provided by a tablet connected to a Bluetooth speaker. Natural lighting created the proper ambience. The only catch was that my wife had to run around like a maniac to get everything working properly.

Despite this improvised setup, the result was pretty good. Visit 20/20’s Video Village at to see my April and May videos.

I know many of you have also had to improvise while your practice or business have been shut down because of the pandemic. My 20/20 colleagues and I would love to hear about them and celebrate the stories of how despite hardship, you’ve continued to connect with patients and customers during the pandemic. That creative spirit, born of necessity, is the real mother of invention.

Andrew Karp
Group Editor, Lenses and Technology
[email protected]