As I write this, it’s nearly the end of Holy Week for us Catholics, which culminates in the celebration of Easter.
Besides its specific, important meaning for Christians, for centuries the time of the year surrounding what would become known as Easter was special to non-Christians as well. Though it’s disputed, some hold that the term Easter is derived from the pre-Christian goddess Eostre, who represented the dawn, and the hope that accompanies a new spring.1 Looking back over the past two years, a hopeful, new dawn would be welcome ... .
At this time in 2020, almost to the day, I had sequestered myself in our house’s basement; over the previous several days I’d developed some symptoms consistent with the then mysterious new disease COVID-19. COVID tests were difficult to come by, so rather than take any chances, I was staying away from the wife and kids, seeing my doctor via telemedicine. On Easter itself—which we spent alone since gatherings were scary ventures early in the pandemic—my wife dropped off dinner on a table in another room for me, and I ate it by myself, waving to my family. Luckily, the next day, the test that I was able to get came back negative, and I could rejoin the land of the living. It was an unnerving, scary time.
The spring of 2020 was a scary time for ophthalmology too, and ophthalmologists’ practices probably felt like they’d also been relegated to a basement filled with things like forced closures, employee furloughs and layoffs, and the complete stoppage of many of their go-to surgical procedures. It was a living nightmare, and it was hard to see a way through it all, or envision what the future was going to look like.
Thankfully—though it took a couple of years—we’re finally beginning to see those first rays of dawn peek over the horizon. In fact, incredibly, surviving the crucible of the pandemic may have taught some practices how to make things even better. “Our [patient satisfaction] reviews have never been better,” says a clinical practice manager interviewed for our cover story on page 26. “We feel more prepared to adapt if something similar to the pandemic happens in the future; we’ll still be able to maintain a decent flow of patients.”
Though I could do without anything similar to the pandemic, the sentiment is significant: Ophthalmology weathered the storm.
This year, whatever your personal beliefs are, let’s hope that the spring’s promised renewal is more than just symbolic, and instead represents the dawn of better days.
— Walter Bethke
Editor in Chief
1. All About Eostre—The Pagan Goddess of Dawn. http://www.arcane-alchemy.com/blog/2020/3/5/all-about-eostre-the-pagan-goddess-of-dawn.