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Life with COVID-19 makes a new normal

Optometry Times JournalApril digital edition 2020
Volume 12
Issue 4

pills spell out "COVID-19"
Dr. Casella headshot

I haven’t been on Earth for a long time, but I don’t recall anything like this. The novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic have created, at least temporarily, a new normal for our society and life on this planet.

Related: What the COVID-19 relief package means for ODsStatus quo
At home, we are practicing social distancing as best we can. We are eating at home. Our kids are out of school for at least two weeks, likely longer. Washing hands is a must, and we are taking special precaution with regard to contact with older members of our extended family.

In my practice, we are following CDC guidelines and are available for emergencies only for the foreseeable future. At the time I wrote this editorial, the House had not yet taken on the Senate’s $2 trillion COVD-19 relief package, and I hope to make use of it so I can keep paying my staff if this drags on for months.

I would love to know how long this will last-just like you. As with any disease, searching the internet is of limited benefit with respect to knowing actual facts about this pandemic.

There are conflicting soundbites from talking heads on TV-not to mention that it’s an election year. However, the world’s peer-reviewed literature about the COVID-19 pandemic is literally in its infancy.

Related: How ODs are addressing COVID-19 in their practicesLooking ahead
So, what am I to do? Good question. I’m left with exercising common sense in clinical and personal life. That common sense hopefully extends to filtering what news about the path of COVID-19 is likely to play out.

I have friends living abroad-one in The Netherlands and one in Spain. Both are young and not considered high-risk. Interestingly, both say that the U.S. needs to adopt a strict protocol regarding halting progression of the virus itself.
A few weeks prior to writing this editorial, I never thought I’d be having such a conversation, at least not seriously. In a very short amount of time, there is just a new normal. I may be overthinking things, but I can feel it in the air when I walk down Broad Street in Augusta. This is just so different.

You and your families are in my thoughts and prayers during this time of uncertainty. So, how are you dealing with the pandemic on a daily basis? What extra steps are you taking? Reach out to us on social media and let us know. In the meantime, stay safe.

More by Dr. Casella: Chief Optometric Editor Ben Casella checks in on Week 2 of office closure

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