Harvey is an Optometrist in Cranston, RI. He opened his practice 43 years ago. In November of 2019 he took on a partner. He says that it’s been very bad recently. Several times over the past couple of weeks, Harvey has received calls alerting him that patients, he had recently seen, had tested positive for Covid. Even though he’s wearing full PPE when treating patients, he followed those calls by getting himself tested. So far he’s had 7 tests. Fortunately his tests continue to come back negative. At first he and his partner added a shield to their full PPE, but they soon found out that one can’t really see into a patient’s eye wearing a shield.
When a patient arrives for his or her appointment, they wait in their automobiles until they’re called to come in. People no longer wait in the waiting room. Recently a patient, who was being seen for a medical eye problem, informed Harvey at the end of the visit, that he had tested positive for covid-19 three days earlier. In spite of the fact that a screening was done when he made the appointment, and again when he arrived and called from the car. We have to rely on our patient’s honesty. It’s been very frustrating.
After getting news about the pandemic, Harvey and his partner closed the office between March 13 and March 16, 2020. His partner came back on June 1, 2020 and got the office set up following Covid protocols. Harvey returned during the first week of July. He works two days a week and his business partner works two days a week.
It’s been stressful and challenging! The toughest part for Harvey was not working for four months. He loves what he does. He finds it very difficult not to shake hands with people, and not be able to hug his patients that he’s known for years.
He’s looking forward to traveling again to see his sons and their families in person. Interacting with his grandchildren on Facetime and/or Zoom is just not the same as being with them. He’s also looking forward to travel to Aruba-just to relax, and to play some golf, and be able to eat out again. Harvey is hoping that by mid-summer enough people will have been vaccinated for things to get closer to normal.
Harvey feels fortunate to be busy. Harvey’s best friend has been struggling with one ailment after the other. That news and the pandemic have made him realize that good health is everything! He’s optimistic that things will get better.