When we embarked on a new decade this year, the focus for our namesake year of 2020 was to continue building on the momentum of our past, present AND future, and reinforcing what we do best. Then along came COVID-19, and it changed everything, not only in our personal lives but our work lives as well. The majority of our industry had to shut down temporarily and work from home where it was possible. For the 20/20 team, working from home was an adjustment, and we had to find alternative ways to get 20/20 out to our readers.
Maybe I’m more traditional, but I’m probably one of the rare few who actually enjoys office life. Not only do I prefer face-to-face interaction, but I also miss taking the subway and walking around our West Village neighborhood. I miss seeing my coworkers in person, not to mention all the eyewear previews, appointments and photo shoots that were a regular part of my pre-COVID work life. And of course, not being able to travel to trade shows and look at new products, meet new people and catch up with industry friends has been tough for all of us. Eyewear is “touchy feely”—not being able to see it in real life, touch its texture and of course, try it on is something we all miss. But no matter what part of the industry we work in, we’ve all had to pivot (the trending word of the pandemic) to stay innovative and support those we do business with.
I’m proud to say that even with the challenges that came with it, the 20/20 team has been able to keep the momentum going and continue delivering our issues in print to our readers’ doorsteps. In addition, we’ve also found immediate ways to stay connected and engage with our readers by providing fresh content online and on social media such as our 20/20 Sees You Now video chats and Q&A series with optical retailers, eyewear designers, frame reps and other industry colleagues. We’re committed to continue bringing you this content, even when things return to normal… if there ever will be a “normal” as we knew it. There are many silver linings (apologies for another trending term) that we’ve all discovered from this pandemic, but personally for me as it relates to my optical life, the biggest one is the power of human connection—staying in touch and meeting new people and not waiting for trade shows and other events to come back around. It’s not the same as meeting in person, but I realized that if not for this pandemic, I probably wouldn’t have met some of these new people, as our paths may not have crossed otherwise. For that, I’m thankful, and I hope to meet even more of you. Please get in touch if the feeling is mutual, and shoot me an email at my address below. For now, I’ll see you all virtually until we meet again in person.