An online ovation: “We will treasure it forever”

A staff video tribute to two directors who are offering essential services features glowstick dancing and an exercise route in the shape of a heart

woman holding a sign

Up and down the country, with many optical workers furloughed, the number of working staff has dwindled.

Multi-tasking has reigned as some workers keep practices afloat single-handedly, while simultaneously keeping their furloughed colleagues informed.

The team at one optical practice have expressed their gratitude to directors, Lynne and Gerard Fernandes, in the form of a moving video tribute.

The message from staff at Lynne Fernandes Optometrists chronicles what furloughed staff have been getting up to – including glowstick dancing, quilting, skipping, baking and an exercise route that forms a heart when plotted on a street map.

The staff also highlight that in the UK some people have been required to go “above and beyond” to guarantee the safety and security of patients and staff.

“These people could not sit back and wait for it all to pass, but, instead, had to plan and act to keep essential services running and those around them supported,” the video tribute says.

Following images of Mr and Ms Fernandes in personal protective equipment, the staff join in a round of virtual applause for the pair.

Responding to the message, which was originally shared with the directors through WhatsApp, Ms Fernandes told OT that the video made her laugh and cry.

“The video was such a happy, inspiring message in these challenging times – we will treasure it forever,” she said.

She explained that after lockdown all of the practice’s staff were furloughed, except for herself, Mr Fernandes and one of the practice managers. Staff have kept in touch through regular Zoom meetings and a WhatsApp group.

Online platforms, such as WhatsApp, have become increasingly important to practitioners during lockdown. Read more online.

OT is keen to hear your stories of thinking outside the box to stay connected as an optical team during lockdown. Please get in touch by email.

Furloughed staff from Lynne Fernandes Optometrists say thank you to those continuing to provide emergency and essential care