Coronavirus BRIEFING
Supported by Essilor

Community Voices

Solving Everyday Problems—What Are Your Solutions?

By Mary Kane
Friday, May 22, 2020 12:56 PM NEW YORK—If nothing else, living through this pandemic has forced all of us to learn how to adapt. Many of us have shifted our habits to bend to the constrictions imposed by COVID-19. But isn’t it amazing how resourceful we’ve become. I guess necessity really is the mother of invention. That’s why we have come up with a new department called Problem:Solved—we want to hear how you are overcoming obstacles and challenges in your business.

As ECPs Start to Reopen, Patients’ Safety and Eye Health Is Top of Mind

By Staff
Monday, May 18, 2020 1:00 AM Eyecare professionals are reminding folks about healthy vision as optometry practices and eyecare centers reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For eyecare professionals, every day is an opportunity to spread the word about the importance of eye health, especially during Healthy Vision Month.

How Do I Choose to Look Back? Painting the Future

By Jennifer Trakhtenberg, Senior Talent Leader at ClearVision Optical
Friday, May 15, 2020 10:20 AM Jennifer Trakhtenberg, Senior Talent Leader for ClearVision Optical wrote the following article about her experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. “As a New Yorker, a mother of two, and a leader of a human resources function at ClearVision, her perspective is thoughtful, captivating and unique. She captures the sentiments that many of us are feeling right now during this moment in time,” according to Lauren Candela, PR and marketing content manager for ClearVision.

Throughout the past two months, I have had this unusual sense of going and doing, while simultaneously envisioning how I want to look back at this period of time. It may be a byproduct of my optimism, which encourages me to contemplate “an after.” It likely has something to do with my personal and professional responsibilities—leading an HR function, while being a mom of two. I keenly recognize that each day I get to choose how I want to show up, and in doing so, I am painting the picture of how I will recall this unimaginable chapter.

Indies Celebrate Reopening, Even With New Rules

By Staff
Thursday, May 14, 2020 10:04 AM NEW YORK—After a strange and tough few months, independent ECPs across the country are slowly but surely beginning to reopen their doors. Things won’t go back to normal right away—doctors and patients will still have to comply by social distancing rules, wear masks and keep things immaculately clean—but this is a major and important step back in the right direction. 

HEA’s Six-Part Recovery Reboot Series Helps ECPs Plan to Reopen

By Marge Axelrad
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 6:41 PM NEW YORK—Healthy Eyes Alliance (HEA) has issued a six-part series, Recovery Reboot, which via guides and videos helps to enable ECPs to optimize their reopenings, enhance revenue and diversity in the long term. Available for free download at HEA’s COVID-19 Resource Center here, the resources in the series are set up to offer both tactical and strategic information, offering new checklists each week.

5 NYC Ophthalmology Residents Answer the Ultimate Call to Duty

By Mary Kane
Friday, May 8, 2020 3:30 PM On March 14, when New York City went into lockdown mode due to the spread of COVID-19, people’s lives were up-ended in ways thought to be unimaginable. Businesses shut down, schools closed and everyone was instructed to shelter in place. As the emergency rooms began filling up, it became apparent that the health care systems in New York City were in danger of becoming stretched to capacity, straining the hospitals and the health care workers manning the frontlines. While many health care workers were encouraged to come out of retirement to aid in the fight, there was another untapped potential source of workers—medical students. Five ophthalmology residents from Mount Sinai volunteered to be redeployed to Elmhurst Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital. Here is their story.

InsideVision Speaks to Wilson Eye Center About Reopening Challenges

By Staff
Friday, May 8, 2020 12:18 AM VALDOSTA, Ga.—InsideVision, which has been hosting conversations with industry leaders about the current coronavirus pandemic and their perspectives on the topic via various video shows, recently posted a Special Report, talking via video to the doctor and team at Wilson Eye Centerbased here. InsideVision took a trip to the heart of South Georgia and the leading edge of optometric reopening. Steven Wilson, OD and Heather Gaskins share their trials and tribulations in the video, with a focus on serving the patient, staffing dilemmas, social distancing and disinfecting in the new, not-so-normal.

Jobson Optical Group Invites Companies to Celebrate #EyecareHeroes

By Staff
Thursday, May 7, 2020 12:24 AM NEW YORK—The Jobson Optical Group is sending a message of gratitude to ECPs, recognizing that we could not get through these unprecedented times without our health care workers. Jobson is inviting companies in the market to thank eyecare professionals for continuing to provide essential eyecare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the new program, Jobson is inviting companies to support, recognize and thank ECP and optical retailers as a group, individual or team effort, starting this week.

Switching Gears: The COVID-19 Experience From an Optometry Student’s Perspective

By Irina Yakubin
Friday, May 1, 2020 12:00 AM It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Like most fourth years, I had expected to spend the last months of optometry school seeing patients in clinic, with a focus on becoming licensed in my state, of course, and job hunting. Just a few weeks ago, life was on track. Now I’m sitting in my room, watching the videos my classmates made to commemorate our time together since graduation has been canceled.What’s next? Here’s what it’s like to be dealing with the pandemic as a fourth-year optometry student.

A Majority of Eyecare Practices Expect to be 'Up and Running' Within a Week, or Sooner, After Receiving Official Go-Ahead, Wave 7 of Jobson Survey Finds

By Staff
Wednesday, April 29, 2020 12:34 AM NEW YORK—Slightly more than four in 10 (41.2 percent) eyecare professionals who responded to a Jobson Optical Research survey said they expect to be "up and running" their practices immediately once given the required regulatory approvals.

Click to view a PDF of the full survey results.

Indie OD Brings Community Together With Online ‘Eye Jeopardy’ Game Show

By Staff
Friday, April 24, 2020 12:52 PM ALBERTA, Canada—While we’re all practicing keeping our distance, people all over the world are turning to social media to come together. Social media is full of ways to connect: for fun, for work, and for education. When you think like Rob Kloepfer, OD, does, Instagram provides the perfect platform for all three. Dr. Kloepfer is a Canadian optometrist who practices at Downtown Vision Care in Calgary, Alberta and Seema Eye Care Centre, also in Calgary. Currently, Dr. Kloepfer uses his Instagram account with nearly 5,000 followers, EyeDrKloepfer, as a platform to educate, connect, and have fun. But with most of his followers practicing social distancing, Dr. Kloepfer has been coming up with ways to keep everyone connected. Namely, he’s been developing and hosting Eye Jeopardy.

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care Kicks Off Facebook #LegoGlassesChallenge to Stay Connected With Patients During the Crisis

By Marge Axelrad
Thursday, April 23, 2020 8:30 AM TAMPA, Fla.—Like many optometric practices around the country in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Bright Eyes Family Vision Care and Bright Eyes Kids based here, have been open only for urgent and emergency patient eyecare needs, closed for routine eyecare since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Nathan Bonilla-Warford owns and operates Bright Eyes with his wife, Cristina Bonilla-Warford. Dr. Beth Knighton joined the team in 2014. As busy as the team is in dealing with the business issues and human side of the crisis, Bonilla-Warford said that staying in touch with patients during this time is very important. 

Community Voices Offer Personal Takes on the Pandemic

By Staff
Thursday, April 23, 2020 12:15 AM NEW YORK—Several months into the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve all had time to ruminate on its impact and how it will continue to profoundly shape our lives, at least in the foreseeable future. Many of us in the optical industry are expressing our thoughts and feelings about the pandemic through writing, music, video and other creative endeavors. The latest of these Community Voices is John Alofs, founder and CEO of Eyewear by R.O.I.

Doctors, Comedians and Community Join Forces With WebMD and Medscape for Rob Corddry's ‘Funny You Should Mask’ to Benefit Project C.U.R.E.

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, April 17, 2020 2:15 PM NEW YORK—From “heroes” to “life-savers” to “trusted confidants,” there are plenty of words that come to mind when we think about doctors, especially right now. But what about “funny?” On Thursday, WebMD and Medscape joined forces with Daily Show alumnus and star of The Unicorn, Rob Corddry, to host “Funny You Should Mask,” a “fun-raiser” to help get PPE to frontline medical workers across the country. The event, hosted live on Facebook, combined humor and medicine to underscore why it’s so vital to get PPE to medical professionals, and what we can do to help them. 

Creating a Pandemic Playlist

By Andrew Karp
Friday, April 17, 2020 10:06 AM Since the pandemic began, my VM colleagues have written some terrific and timely Today’s Read pieces aimed at helping readers get through these strange and frightening times. Gwen Plummer wrote how to stay sane during a crisis. Mark Tosh chimed in with suggestions for taking our minds off “that other thing.” Mary Kane share her observations, as well as reports from readers, about our WFH (Work From Home) experiences. As I prepared for my turn to take over this space, I realized what tough acts these are to follow. As I searched for a fresh angle on the COVID-19 crisis, I hit on the idea of curating a Pandemic Playlist, which seemed to offer creative possibilities.