Coronavirus BRIEFING
Supported by Essilor

Review of Ophthalmology: How to Capitalize on the LASIK Boom

By Staff
Friday, September 30, 2022 3:06 PM In recent years, laser vision correction procedures, specifically LASIK, have increased in popularity. In fact, the Refractive Surgery Council has reported that the laser vision correction procedure volume for the fourth quarter of 2021 was 190,509, which is a year-to-date increase of 32 percent over 2020. The total procedure volume for 2021 topped 833,000 for the first time since the council began tracking laser vision correction procedures in 2015. According to John Vukich, MD, who is in practice in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, there are several reasons that LASIK rates increased starting in 2020, and the effects of the pandemic are at the top of the list. “During the pandemic, people were working from home. They were wearing masks, and if they had glasses, there was the potential for masks fogging the lenses,” he noted. Read More

The National Average for Gross Revenue at ECP Locations Increased for the Week of Sept. 19-25, Jobson’s Latest Practice Performance Tracker Shows

By Staff
Thursday, September 29, 2022 12:30 AM NEW YORK—The national average for gross revenue at ECP locations increased last week, Sept. 19-25, at a rate of 2 index points. That places gross revenue at a level 11 index points above where it was at this point in time (Week 39) when compared with last year, 2 points above the same period in 2020, and 13 points above 2019, according to Jobson’s most recent Practice Performance Tracker. All optical sales categories, except one, were up last week when compared with the previous week.

Billionaire Wealth Soars During the Pandemic

By Staff
Wednesday, September 28, 2022 10:57 AM According to a new report by Swiss bank UBS, the combined fortunes of billionaires around the world have soared despite the coronavirus pandemic. The event has proven to be an accelerator of change for billionaires and their businesses, according to the authors, which see tech billionaires and those ready to lift their fortunes into the digital age as the winners of the current state of the world.

The U.S. and China saw the biggest absolute wealth increases for billionaires between mid-2019 and mid-2020, with $660 billion and $490 billion added to the wealth of the ultra-rich, respectively. The highest percent increases were recorded in France (+47 percent), China (+41 percent) and Brazil (+38 percent).

Billionaire wealth rose by 27 percent to $10.2 trillion between the beginning of April until the end of July of this year alone. Click here to read the full story from Statista.com.

ECPs and Optical Retailers Adjust Costs, Note Supply Chain Issues in Latest Q3 Jobson ECPulse Survey

By Staff
Monday, September 26, 2022 12:24 AM NEW YORK—Even as staffing challenges continue for many ECPs, economic pressures including inflation and business costs as well as ongoing supply chain issues were among the concerns within the second ECPulse Survey conducted in September 2022 by Jobson Optical Research. Some 80 percent of the ECPs surveyed said they noticed that patients are trying to save money due to inflation. Concurrently most noted a change in their traditionally "busy" months in terms of patient traffic.

Amid a Renewed Sense of Normalcy, the Industry Gathers as Vision Expo West Returns to Las Vegas

By Mary Kane
Monday, September 26, 2022 12:00 AM LAS VEGAS—It was a wrap for Vision Expo West 2022 in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 17, as the four-day event concluded at The Venetian Convention Center & Expo. The Conference and Exhibiton, brought thousands of members of the optical industry together from Sept. 14-17 for four days of trailblazing trends, education and plenty of networking opportunities. “It was amazing to see the full scope of the vision care industry come together in Las Vegas last week, both on and off the Show Floor,” said Fran Pennella, vice president, Vision Expo, at RX, co-organizer of Vision Expo.

20/20 Magazine: A Conversation With Henrik Orgreen, CEO of Orgreen Optics

By Staff
Friday, September 23, 2022 4:04 PM Teamwork and team commitment, solid communication and sheer hard work, with an attitude of openness and affability, have stood the Danish company in good stead through the pandemic of 2020 and 2021... and represent the foundation of its success, stability and growth in 2022, said Henrik Orgreen, CEO. When asked what are your hopes and priorities for the new eyewear season, he said, "Our hope is to get back to much more of the face-to-face meetings we are used to with more visitors to our new headquarters in Copenhagen. We are a customer-driven company, and we will always be that. We need to meet up again, spend time with customers and have those moments to talk. We have stayed well connected—even in lockdowns, there was someone at the end of our phones. But now it’s time to reconnect." Read More

Goldman Sachs Predicts Recession Will Hit Sometime in the Next 12 Months

By Staff
Friday, September 23, 2022 3:11 PM Goldman Sachs is predicting the U.S. economy will continue to take a downturn as recession fears grow. GS Research indicates that a recession is likely to happen within the next 12 months.

Analysts believe that the post-COVID recession will be mild and that the unemployment rate increase should only be approximately 1 percentage point. The reason behind this is a continued glut in jobs versus workers. It’s believed the imbalance between available jobs and workers should absorb much of that contraction without triggering a large rise in unemployment.  

“Recent preliminary evidence suggests this is possible,” said senior global economist Daan Struyven. “In fact, the U.S. job openings rate has declined by 0.7 percentage points since March while the unemployment rate has actually declined by 0.1 percentage points. This suggests that the slowdown in output growth is likely to have a smaller-than-usual effect on employment, which tends to drop sharply in traditional U.S. recessions.”

Struyven noted there are still clear drives for growth in the U.S. economy and as the normalization of COVID-sensitive sectors returns industries like tourism and office work will rebound. 

Who Decides When the Pandemic Is 'Over'?

By Staff
Friday, September 23, 2022 9:00 AM Last week, President Biden told 60 Minutes that the COVID-19 pandemic is "over," a statement that has caused confusion and ignited debate among many. As WebMD reports, "the U.S. alone is averaging more than 71,000 new cases and more than 400 deaths a day, and there are 500,000 cases and nearly 2,000 deaths each day around the world," so can a pandemic really be declared "over" under these circumstances? Head over to WebMD for an in-depth look on the state of COVID-19 today, experts' opinions on if the pandemic is "over" or not and more. 

COVID Still Kills, but the Demographics of Its Victims Are Shifting

By Staff
Thursday, September 22, 2022 7:56 AM As California settles into a third year of pandemic, COVIS-19 continues to pose a serious threat of death. But the number of people dying—and the demographics of those falling victim—has shifted notably from the first two years.

Should I Time My COVID Booster?

By Staff
Thursday, September 22, 2022 6:06 AM Bivalent COVID booster appointments are now readily available, but some Americans are delaying their shots in a bid for maximum efficacy.

The National Average for Gross Revenue at ECP Locations Increased for the Week of Sept. 12-18, Jobson’s Latest Practice Performance Tracker Shows

By Staff
Thursday, September 22, 2022 12:27 AM NEW YORK—The national average for gross revenue at ECP locations increased last week, Sept. 12-18, at a rate of 17 index points, regaining much but not all of the decline of -21 index points it experienced the week prior due to the Labor Day holiday. That places gross revenue at a level 10 points above where it was at this point in time (Week 38) when compared with last year, equal to the same period in 2020, 13 points above 2019, according to Jobson’s most recent Practice Performance Tracker.

We're Increasingly Disconnected and That Has Consequences

By Staff
Wednesday, September 21, 2022 7:56 AM You brought your computer home from work “for 2 weeks” in March 2020 and stayed home for 2 years. Schools went virtual. Club meetings got canceled. Gyms closed. Friends and family became off-limits. Remember avoiding other people on the street? It’s gotten better since the outbreak, but we’ve remained in relative isolation far longer than expected.

The Most Common Side Effects of the New Bivalent COVID Booster

By Staff
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 2:56 PM The anticipated side effects are really exactly what would be expected to occur after the previous vaccinations.

Review of Optometry: What We’ve Learned and What’s to Come for Telemedicine

By Staff
Monday, September 19, 2022 3:29 PM Shuttered offices and international pandemic guidelines curtailed in-person patient care in 2020 but also led to demonstrations of sheer tenacity. Despite the challenges, loss and unsteadiness that COVID-19 brought into all of our lives, we would be remiss not to reflect on the opportunities, invention and hopefully lasting patient care innovation that transpired from the events of the last several years. Between social distancing, periods of mandated quarantine and general caution to remain at home, many patients found great utility in virtual communications with practitioners, and doctors were relieved to keep in touch with their patients’ needs. Read More

Biden Says 'Pandemic Is Over'

By Staff
Monday, September 19, 2022 7:56 AM President Joe Biden said the COVID-19 pandemic is "over" during impromptu remarks on CBS's 60 Minutes , which aired on Sunday night.