Coronavirus BRIEFING
Supported by Essilor

Clarification Regarding Zeiss DuraVision AntiVirus Platinum UV Availability

By Staff
Friday, July 23, 2021 12:15 AM HEBRON, Ky.—VMAIL recently reported in the International News section on the release of Zeiss DuraVision AntiVirus Platinum UV. However, the product is only available in certain markets. Zeiss Vision Care U.S. issued the following clarification: “Zeiss DuraVision AntiVirus Platinum UV, an anti-reflective coating with antibacterial and antiviral properties, is now available on Zeiss plastic lenses in several countries. The product is being reviewed for further release by local, country specific, regulatory agencies and is not yet available in North America.”

Johnson & Johnson Reports Rebound in Sales and Earnings, With Vision Care Segment Also Bouncing Back from 2020’s Dropoff

By Staff
Thursday, July 22, 2021 4:39 PM NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) reported Wednesday that its second-quarter sales increased 27.1 percent to $23.3 billion, with operational sales growth of 23 percent and adjusted operational growth of 23.8 percent. Net earnings increased 73.1 percent, totaling $6.3 billion in the recent quarter compared with $3.6 billion in the year-ago period, according to the announcement. In the J&J’s medical devices business segment, which includes vision care and contact lenses, worldwide sales rose 62.7 percent in the quarter on a reported basis (57 percent on an operational basis) to approximately $7 billion (compared with $4.3 billion in the year-ago period). Read More

Pandemic Recession Was the Shortest Ever in the U.S.

By Staff
Thursday, July 22, 2021 3:36 PM While the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, as rising case numbers in various countries sadly illustrate, the recession it brought on to the U.S. economy officially is. And for quite some time, as the official chronicler of U.S. business cycles announced on Monday. According to an official statement from the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the U.S. economy bottomed out in April 2020, just two months from its previous peak in February 2020.

According to the NBER’s conventions for chronicling economic cycles, a recession begins in the first month following a peak in economic activity and ends in the month of the subsequent trough. In this case, that means the COVID-19 recession only lasted for two months, making it the shortest on record.

While the protracted length of an economic contraction is usually one of three criteria for determining a recession—depth, diffusion and duration—the NBER states that “extreme conditions revealed by one criterion may partially offset weaker indications from another.”

Click here to read the full story from statista.com.

KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: In Their Own Words, Six Months Later

By Staff
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 2:25 PM At the beginning of 2021 as vaccine distribution began in the U.S., The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) conducted interviews with a nationally representative sample of adults using open-ended questions to better understand public concerns around receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Six months later, KFF re-contacted these individuals to find out whether they chose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, their reasoning behind their decisions, and how they are feeling about their choice. Here are some of their findings:

•  The vast majority (92 percent) of those who planned to get vaccinated “as soon as possible” in early 2021 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as have slightly more than half (54 percent) of individuals who had previously said they wanted to “wait and see” before getting vaccinated. On the other hand, a majority (76 percent) of people who had previously said they would “only get vaccinated if required” or said they would “definitely not” get a COVID-19 vaccine remain unvaccinated. 

•  One-fifth of adults (21 percent) now report being vaccinated after saying in January they planned on waiting to get vaccinated, would only get it if required, or would definitely not get vaccinated. Many of these individuals noted the role of their friends and family members as well as their personal doctors in persuading them to get a vaccine. 

•  When asked to name the feeling that best describes how they feel now that they have been vaccinated, nearly a quarter of vaccinated adults offer responses around feeling safe (24 percent) and relieved (22 percent). Other positive feelings reported were freedom, confidence, and more certainty that if they did get COVID-19 it would be less serious or they were less likely to die from it.

Following Downturns from July Fourth Holiday, Optical Sales Make a Quick Recovery for Week of July 12-18, Jobson’s Latest Weekly Tracker Shows

By Staff
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 12:30 AM NEW YORK—Optical sales quickly recovered last week, July 12-18, following the previous week’s downturns due to the Independence Day holiday. In fact, the national average for gross revenue at ECP locations not only regained the -16 index points it lost the previous week (July 5-11) but also added an additional 2 index points last week for a total increase of 18 index points, according to the latest Practice Performance Tracker from Jobson. Last week, all optical sales categories not only regained the losses they experienced the previous week but also surpassed their prior levels.

Click here to view the complete Jobson COVID-19 Performance Tracker

Optometrists Named as 'See Tomorrow' Visionaries Ahead of July 22 Kick-Off, to Help Peers and Inform Consumers as Part of CLI Initiative

By Staff
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 12:27 AM WASHINGTON, D.C.—A group of leading optometrists from across the U.S. has been named as See Tomorrow Visionaries by the Contact Lens Institute (CLI).

Women In Optometry: Hitting Pause on Relocation Proves to Be a Smart Decision

By Staff
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 8:55 AM The week that the COVID-19 closures hit Michigan in March 2020, Kelly Carrier, OD, was preparing to take out a loan to relocate her office Dexter Family Eye Center. “I decided to wait; I imagined there would be better loan opportunities once this was over.” It was a smart move, as Dr. Carrier was able to secure a Small Business Administration loan a few months later in July. In 2019, Dr. Carrier had already found her new spot that met her two requirements for the relocation: she had to be able to own the space, and it had to allow for a layout that maximized use of all the square footage. Her original office location in an old home was 1,800 square feet, but the layout left a great deal of that room unusable. Read More

Prevent Blindness Holds 10th Annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit as Expanded Two-Day Virtual Event

By Staff
Tuesday, July 20, 2021 12:27 AM CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness held the 10th annual Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health National Summit as a virtual event on July 14 and 15, 2021. This year’s Summit included a variety of presentations and discussions related to the theme, "Our Changing Vision” with more than 1,000 registered attendees. In addition to a wide variety of presentations and moderated discussions, the Summit provided attendees with the opportunity to visit virtual booths of event sponsors, as well as chat and network with fellow attendees and presenters.

How Has the Consumer's Mindset Changed? Trends and Tactics to Be the Focus of VM's Virtual Aug. 11 "ALL-CONSUMING" Leadership Summit Session

By Staff
Monday, July 19, 2021 12:24 AM NEW YORK—Do you know how customer and patient priorities have changed in the past 18 months? Are you clear on how to recapture their loyalty, connect with their concerns and recalibrate your connections to them? Experts who have been talking to consumers are going to share how consumer behavior has already changed and illuminate how patient preferences are realigning. And, a special panel of independent optometrists, opticians and retail execs are going to discuss what they've witnessed in the past 18 months and how they've been rethinking their own tactics and approach during "ALL-CONSUMING: A Deep Dive into The New Consumer Mindset," the focus of the Aug. 11 VM Leadership Summit session, the second in a multi-event series this year. 

Is There Any Good News About Delta?

By Staff
Monday, July 19, 2021 12:04 AM As far as anyone can tell, Delta isn’t more dangerous in the sense that it causes worse disease. It’s a sneaky opportunist, not a mayhem man.

Understanding COVID's Impact

By Staff
Friday, July 16, 2021 12:03 PM The American Foundation for the Blind has launched its Journey Forward survey, with the goal of better understanding the short and long term impacts COVID-19 has had on the vision loss community. Head over to the AFB to take a look at the survey or pass it along to someone you know who qualifies.

Survey Finds Many Americans Having Trouble Obtaining Products and Services

By Staff
Friday, July 16, 2021 12:00 PM NEW YORK—According to a recent survey by LendingTree, roughly seven in 10 Americans report not being able to find the products they need and/or not being able to use some of the services they’ve come to rely upon. The issue: certain product and labor shortages. This was the main finding in the LendingTree survey of more than 2,000 consumers.

As a result, many consumers are “choosing to wait things out rather than pay extra or deal with frustrating customer experiences,” the findings noted.
 
Here’s what consumers had to say about the shortages they have encountered this summer.

  • The most commonly cited product shortages include meat (21 percent), gas (20 percent), appliances (16 percent), cars (15 percent) and lumber (13 percent). But it’s not just goods — 23 percent of parents with young children are having trouble finding a babysitter, and 22 percent of restaurant patrons have noted unusually slow or poor service.

  • More than half of Americans (54 percent) are putting off big projects and purchases as a result of the shortages facing the nation. For example, 26 percent held off on a vacation and 20 percent tabled home-improvement projects.
Labor shortages are the other noticeable trend this summer, with 51 percent of survey respondents reporting difficulty obtaining certain services. The top areas affecting consumers include: unusually slow or poor service in restaurants (22 percent).

How Will We Know When This Is All Over?

By Staff
Thursday, July 15, 2021 2:29 PM Things may be looking better in parts of the world, but the COVID-19 pandemic isn't over anywhere, and we're not out of the woods yet. How will we know when the pandemic has come to an end? Does the WHO declare it over, the same way they declared it started? Head over to NPR for a look at how we'll know, and what we may be able to expect.

Is Gen Z Socially Engaged?

By Staff
Thursday, July 15, 2021 1:32 PM An accusation traditionally directed at any younger generation is that they're not socially and politically engaged enough and are perhaps not doing all they could to move the world in the right direction. A recent Deloitte survey of people in the cohort referred to as 'Generation Z' (born between 1995 and 2003), reveals that for a large share this couldn't be further from the truth.

As this infographic from Statista.com shows, over half of the 8,273 global survey participants said they had donated to charity in the past two years, while at least a third were involved in a wide range of socially engaged activities and actions—ranging from attending a protest or march, to making a career decision based on their own ethical values.

This year’s global survey followed up on topics related to the pandemic, including its effect on respondents’ behaviors, stress levels, and opinions. As always, it asked about people’s satisfaction with business’s role in society. And it dug into the issues that matter to millennials and Gen Zs, especially the environment, social equality, and discrimination.

Five Undervaccinated Clusters Put the Entire United States at Risk

By Staff
Thursday, July 15, 2021 12:04 AM These clusters of unvaccinated people are what is standing in the way of us putting this virus down permanently.