As I write this month’s editorial, the world is shifting around us. Hopefully, by the time mivision’s May issue is on your desk, we will have settled into our ‘new normal’. For how long this will be our ‘new normal’, who knows.
What we do know is that we will have learnt much about ourselves, our families, friends and the businesses we work in, thanks to the unforeseen challenges that COVID-19 has thrown our way.
Undoubtedly, there have been, and will be many more devastating losses to come from this pandemic; loss of life, loss of relationships, loss of jobs and assets. Family and friends will be essential to support those in need.
There have, and will, also be plenty of challenges for single people who find themselves alone in isolation and for people who have been stood down from work. There are families crammed into small spaces, and parents with young children juggling daily work with home schooling. mivision’s designer has somehow managed to pull together our amazing macular disease issue for May, while homeschooling three children, the youngest a bouncing kinder!
But there are some positives to come from this as well – like the extra time we’ve been given to spend with family and the innovative ways we’ve found to virtually connect with those outside the bubble of home.
At a commercial and political level, I’ve been amazed at what has been achieved. Massive decisions have been made, almost overnight, to keep services running while protecting community health. Rapid implementation of those decisions has shown us what really can be achieved when everyone pulls together.
Optometry groups joined forces to advocate for Medicare rebates on tele-optometry services and Oculo turned on the required technology seemingly overnight. Physical conferences were turned into virtual conferences and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency flexed quickly to grant them face-to-face CPD points.
Optometry practices and ophthalmology clinics have made significant changes to procedural management to ensure emergency services can be delivered while protecting the health of patients and staff.
Elon Musk has said, “Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.” I think we’ve shown that we can.
Thank you to all the leaders in eye health who have come together, under challenging circumstances, to generously share their knowledge for our annual mivision issue on macular disease. Thank you also to Macular Disease Foundation Australia, which was instrumental in planning the content.