April 2020

ASCRS NEWS

COVID-19 News you can use
When words will not suffice


by Steve Speares ASCRS Executive Director

“... sometimes words will not suffice. The eyes are a necessary companion to words at this time. The eyes push the words over the hurdle lying in front. Without them, the words become too commonplace, too ordinary.”

One of the challenges associated with publishing a monthly periodical in today’s on-demand world is the shelf life and relevance of the information by the time it is in the hands of our readers. That is one of many reasons EyeWorld has been a publication oriented more toward timeless clinical content versus a time-sensitive, breaking-news publication.
The month of March was unlike anything we have ever experienced in our lifetimes: a daily barrage of disorienting and life-altering events that left us all shaken as the coronavirus rocked life as we have come to know it in many corners of the world.
Today ophthalmology practices throughout the U.S. and across the globe have been shuttered to protect the health of patients, surgeons, and their staff. In some ways, time has stood still, and in other ways, it has moved at lightning speed. This standstill seemingly came out of nowhere, leaving practices in unprecedented peril.
For us here at ASCRS, the monumental decision to cancel our Annual Meeting in Boston for the first time in the 46-year history of the organization has left a profound impact on our leadership, our members, our ASOA partners, our partners in industry, and our staff. It all seems unreal, but it was clearly necessary.
The other day I called my best friend from my years growing up in South Carolina and asked for his help to put all of this into words. He is uniquely qualified, having spent 30 years teaching literature at a university.
“Matt, how do you put this into words?” I said. “What can be said and written to help us deal with the daily drumbeat of doom?”
“Steve, sometimes words will not suffice,” he said. “The eyes are a necessary companion to words at this time. The eyes push the words over the hurdle lying in front. Without them, the words become too commonplace, too ordinary.”
Yes, the eyes. We know something of those amazing organs. They show us hurt. They show us pride. They show us fear and anger. They also show us compassion and understanding. The eyes are often taken for granted except in the most human of exchanges. We need those eyes.
I have been struck over the past 3 weeks how many wonderful treats in our daily life I had taken for granted. I now realize one of those amazing gifts is the eyes and the people who take care of our eyes. How special this gift is. It is you, our members, who protect, nourish, and repair our eyes.
A meeting lost is a disappointing thing for us at ASCRS. But more tragic is the lost opportunity to spend time with you, learning what challenges you face and overcome in your daily practice of ophthalmology, watching you connect with old friends and colleagues and meeting new faces. Eyes tend to light up during these exchanges.
We will be back with our meeting in San Francisco next April. When we meet, see each other, and speak with our eyes, words will not suffice for that exchange.

When words will not suffice When words will not suffice
Ophthalmology News - EyeWorld Magazine
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2020-04-13T13:36:53Z
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