Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” And, indeed, it is hard to believe that another month has passed during the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all of which was experienced via “stay-at-home” orders in the homes of most of our readership. Although there is incessant chatter about re-opening the economy, and certainly there is a great desire to get back to normal life, most infectious disease experts and epidemiologists suggest caution in our next steps. As Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said best, “...you’ve got to understand that you don’t make the timeline. The virus makes the timeline.
”Last month at this time, we reported 155,423 cases worldwide; at the time of the present writing (one month later), we are close to 2 million cases worldwide. We have gone from 5,400 deaths to well over 120,000 deaths in a month’s time. While reports in the lay press have continued to suggest the ocular surface as a route of transmission and that contact lens wear increases the risk for COVID-19, there have been no scientific data reported that corroborate these issues. On the contrary, studies continue to show low frequencies of conjunctivitis in patients confirmed with COVID-19; further, laboratory studies rarely find SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing COVID-19) to be present on the ocular surface.
Although these are unprecedented times, we encourage you to be proactively predicting your transition back to “normal” life. How will you adapt your practice to the new normal? Office hours and patient schedules? Personal protective equipment? Triaging? Patient and exam flow? As the pandemic is unfolding in front of our eyes minute-by-minute, it can be overwhelming to anticipate issues that we will need to address in the future. But, I think that we can all predict a change in what we consider “normal” in the near future. And, there is no doubt that we stand ready to make those changes to best serve our patients and communities. We wish all of our readers, patients, and the general public the best health as we come together globally to continue to fight COVID-19.
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The goal of Contact Lens Spectrum is to provide you with timely and thought-provoking articles that will help you become a more successful contact lens practitioner. Please let us know how we’re doing! E-mail CLSpectrum@pentavisionmedia.com with your comments or article submissions.