Greetings from Scotland!
I hope everyone is doing okay in these very difficult and testing times. Never did we think as we entered 2020, with all that it means to us in Optics, would we be fighting a silent battle globally – COVID 19.
My own situation is that the practice where I work is closed to all but URGENT and ESSENTIAL eyecare which means our phone line is transferred to a mobile (cell) phone and patients requiring help are triaged by phone or video call and if they need clinical care are seen by an army of ‘on call’ optometrists working from central ’hub’ practices and if they require emergency spectacles or contact lenses these can be organised and delivered via the practice. My last day in practice saw me deliver 2 pairs of spectacles to patients at home, 3 or 4 packs of contact lenses, and order replacement spectacles for two kids who had broken their specs and both had very high plus prescriptions and really couldn’t manage without them!
Since most of my days are now spent at home, I have volunteered to be redeployed within our National Health Service (NHS) as a support worker – I do not know what ‘support’ I can offer – at the time of writing I had not been allocated a specific role - but I am fit and healthy and able to help those less fortunate than myself. I may be delivering meds, food or essential items to those in self isolation, helping in local pharmacies, hospitals or doctors’ surgeries, who knows, but, it will be good to play a part in helping my neighbours.
Nationally, optical associations are doing whatever they can to support members and members of the IOA are encouraged to remain in contact with each other via our Facebook group. This is an excellent platform for you to reach out and share experiences of what we have been doing to help our patients during this time of extraordinary change. I would encourage you to share what you have been doing – just like I have so we can come through this together.
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all well, stay safe and share your experiences via Facebook – remember we are all in this together and together we are stronger.
The IOA Summit has been postponed until 2021 – we will be in touch with dates as soon as we have them.
The IOA is working with a skeleton staff at this time – we will do our best to continue to add news to the website, www.ioassn.org, and interact with you on social media.