Nearing the end of 2019, those of us in vision care looked forward to 2020, the Year of Vision. Good vision would be on everyone’s lips, and there was so much we could do—community involvement, education, trade shows and enough celebration of our profession to keep us grinning with pride all year. Now here we are in the third quarter of the year, and a pandemic has deflated our party balloons when we had barely gotten started. But we still have something to celebrate. After all, it’s still the Year of Vision.
We can celebrate one of the biggest learning experiences we could have. Shuttering then reopening practices has forced us to look at every aspect of our business with a better sense of hygiene, safety and efficiency. We have shown that we can be creative and flexible charting unknown and sometimes murky waters. And not just in our practices. Suppliers, manufacturers and vendors are working furiously to develop new products and techniques specifically designed for delivering vision care in a new environment. Those groups, along with professional organizations provide information, education, resources and support for ECPs. We’re looking out for each other. We can celebrate those advances, that caring and our resilience to come out of the current health crisis transformed and better than before.
We can celebrate the courage it takes to work during the crisis because we know the value of the services we offer. And it takes courage to reopen in a new world of vision care. Rather than looking back and longing for the way things used to be, we are looking forward, finding new ways of doing things and digging in. Instead of loss, we see opportunity. Trade shows adopted virtual meetings between buyers and vendors. Telecommuting will continue for some time, and there is opportunity in lenses that treat digital eyestrain from more hours spent gazing at computers and digital devices. Masks likely will be worn indefinitely, and anti-fog products are needed to keep lenses and vision clear. Telehealth will reduce the risk of person to person contact. Touchless devices that take measurements provide a safer eyewear ordering process, and rest assured there will be more innovations to come across the industry.
It’s OK to put that grin of pride back on. You have much to be proud of. While there won’t be another year 2020—not a bad thing in many ways—every year can be a Year of Vision.
• Linda Conlin
Pro to Pro Managing Editor