Standing by you

Standing together in uncertain times


For those observant followers of OT , you will have noticed that each week a different member of the team contributes a blog for our eNewsletter.

As one of four regular contributors, writing the blog acts as a mini milestone; it is a reminder that another month has slid by, and gently nudges me to reflect on what has happened and consider what the next month might have in store.

As I sit in my makeshift office at home writing this blog, staring out at a cloudless blue sky, any attempt at putting into words how much the world has changed in a month is a hopeless task.

The news on Monday evevning that UK PM Boris Johnson is under close surveillance in the intensive care unit (ICU) at St Thomas’ Hospital is hard to take in. This is the nature of life today; calling on all of us to make adjustments to unprecedented events without pause for breath.

I was particularly struck by the broadcast last night of BBC correspondent Fergus Walsh’s report inside University College Hospital London’s ICU treating patients with coronavirus (COVID-19). A powerful and emotionally charged testimony of the work of frontline medical teams, it is a stark reminder that the simplest way many of us can support the NHS is by staying at home.

Last week OT learned that an old friend of the journal had died of the virus. Christine Fitzmaurice was a passionate and forthright advocate of eye health, spending many years working with Cerium Visual Technologies promoting the use of colorimetry. During my time at OT, I always relished talking to her about her latest projects; I know I will miss her passion to make the world a better place, and to challenge me to think about how OT could help to achieve this goal.

Over the weeks and months to come, OT is committed to standing beside you, our readers, at a time of need.

  • We will remain your trusted source of news and insight, with our team of journalists asking the questions you want answered. Please keep reading our daily briefing online, and we will be producing a dedicated section on the virus in the May print edition. Please email us with your views and experiences.
  • We are here to support the optical community, sharing practitioners’ experiences during the crisis. We will also provide more opportunities for professional development, including extra CET articles in June and July, and more time to read and take CET exams
  • We will champion change, working with the AOP to identifying and demand support where it is needed for the profession to survive.

As part of its ongoing package of support for members, look out for the AOP’s next webinar in its series, taking place on 9 April. AOP clinical director and optometrist, Dr Peter Hampson, will advise members on the steps that need to be taken to practise safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do you feel physically currently?
  • I feel normal

    170 94%
  • I am unwell with COVID-19 symptoms

    1 0%
  • I have been unwell with COVID-19 symptoms but have recovered without being hospitalised

    7 3%
  • I have been unwell with COVID-19 symptoms but have recovered having been hospitalised

    1 0%