Are there any positive takeaways from the COVID-19 crisis?

In the final installment of his COVID-19 interview series, Dr. Breazzano discusses the positive lessons he's learned during the crisis.

Are there any positive takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Dr. Breazzano: I think a real positive, at least, as a retina specialist, I think this pandemic really showed that, you know, we do have a profound impact with our patients. You know, it, it is unfortunate that some of these other services often were kind of pushed to the sideline.

But I think that retina, we were still very busy and still very important for preserving vision for a lot of our patients, whereas our colleagues [who] were involved in some more elective procedures and whatnot. I mean, appropriately, weren't necessarily pursuing a lot of those treatments while there was active infection going on. But I do think that our specialty is really came out and really showed how it really was important that we stayed available, stayed open for patients help preserve their vision, and that, I think, that will sort of endure past this pandemic, and I think showing a positive impact for the community as a whole.

I think a take home is that it's easy to lose the forest for the trees a little bit. But as retina specialists, we can be very focused on what we do. But I think we can have a really impactful meaning for our patients and their health, whether it's the vaccine, whether it's the way that we or they can sort of transmit these pathogens that seem unrelated to—immediately to our field.

But given our proximity and risk factors, I think it's just really important to keep an open mind about how we best treat these patients, keep everyone safe and sort of move forward as we navigate past this pandemic. And as it might relate to not only other infections, but the way we treat these diseases, you know, some we need to be assertive or even aggressive and managing them to maintain vision, and others, we may not need to be as much but a lot of this requires obviously ongoing study and further refinement before we know for sure.

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