By the time this column goes to press, I hope the coronavirus has, at least mostly, run its course. All of us affiliated with Review have truly kept all of you in our daily thoughts and prayers. 

“Chairside” (you know, this column) is theoretically a humorous look at the world of optometry. It’s kinda hard to find anything funny about this frightening pandemic, so I’ll just make a few observations:

  1. My wife and I were scheduled to visit Europe—Italy, to be exact—for the first time in mid April. That didn’t happen. Don’t tell my wife, but I wasn’t over the moon about leaving the familiar confines of the US in the first place. I didn’t invent the virus just to get out of the trip, but maybe it was not meant to be…the trip I mean.
  2. Speaking of my home state, did anybody notice that West Virginia was the last state to have a coronavirus case? Oh, I know, you think it’s because (a) nobody ever leaves the state and (b) if they did, they’d never come back. Me? I agree with the theory that Moonshine is an antiviral, and we always take our medicine in West Virginia.
  3. I have always washed my hands before and after every patient. Mostly. Now I just do it in front of them. But it’s a little intimidating. I am always paranoid the patient is counting to 20, ready to judge my scrub time. The result isn’t cleaner hands but more splashed water on the front of my pants.
  4. Now that we can only Facetime our grandkids, we have had more quality time together… more than ever… like hours and hours and hours. We ran out of interesting discussions by 4pm on day one, so now we are watching romantic comedies together. Why are all romantic comedies based on some guy cheating on his long-suffering wife (you know, the wife who didn’t get to go to Italy, for example)?
  5. The coronavirus has cut into my important budget-to-buy-stuff-I-really-don’t-need. I now have to buy boring things like food. And don’t get me started on toilet paper. Pay cuts suck.
  6. OK, you got me started on toilet paper. I noticed early in the crisis that the sheets that you use to fill out your lottery numbers are roughly the size of two jumbo toilet paper sheets. Just remember to have them run the card through the machine first. Don’t learn the hard way.
  7. With so much time on my hands I found the perfect coronavirus shot. Any doctor will agree. Like all important medications, it has a funny name: Mezcal.
  8. My 401K now has a new name: “401 dollars.”
  9. I wish we could choose who would get sick in our family. It’s only right that I would choose myself, but I am also considering nominating my cousin, Carey, who got me grounded for a week in 1960 by convincing me to march down the middle of 6th Avenue in Montgomery screaming, “I’m a monkey,” after sticking a curvy willow branch in the back of my pants.
  10. I have great admiration for my three bosses for the huge efforts to keep our offices safe and afloat and their employees paid. I cannot imagine the angst doctor-owners are experiencing with COVID-19. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, but this is one long tunnel. 

My friends, you are braver than you ever thought you could be. Eye care is a critically important part of the healthcare system. You’ve done all you can do! 

Now, go wash your hands.