Coronavirus BRIEFING
Supported by Essilor

Some Positive Trends, but Many Eyecare Practices Still Lag April 2019 Performance Metrics, Jobson Research Survey Finds

By Staff
Thursday, May 6, 2021 12:33 AM NEW YORK—Even as the number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. decline and the number of Americans who have completed the vaccination regimen rises, the eyecare segment continues to see challenges along the pathway toward a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels, according to the findings of Wave 22 of the Coronavirus ECP Survey conducted April 26-30, 2021, by Jobson Research. Notably, 75 percent of the respondents to Wave 22 said they believe their practice currently has capacity to see more patients, with the average respondent indicating the practice could see 26 percent more patients.

Click to view a PDF of the full Wave 22 survey results.

Independent Retailers Must Keep Up ‘Shop Small’ Message as Their Best Hope for Post-Covid Recovery

By Staff
Thursday, May 6, 2021 12:01 AM Because the crisis was so long, consumer behavior shifted. [Consumers] turned to Amazon to deliver everything to their front door. As a result, we drained an enormous amount of capital out of our local economies and shifted it to Jeff Bezos and Seattle. For small businesses to recover, that shift has to come back in some part to small local businesses.

Over a Billion Were Unwilling to Get Vaccinated in 2020

By Staff
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 4:59 PM Gallup recently published a poll showing that the share of people around the world willing to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in 2020. The data shows that willingness came to 68 percent—short of the 70 percent to 90 percent threshold experts believe is required to achieve herd immunity. There are significant differences between countries and Gallup found that majorities would actually refuse the vaccine in 20 countries, mainly across Eastern Europe and Africa.

In total, the research found that more than a billion peope were unwilling to get vaccinated in the first year of the pandemic.

Gabon had the highest levels of refusal in 2020 at 66 percent, followed by Cameroon and Jordan with 65 percent and 62 percent, respectively. Hungary, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia and Kazakhstan were also among the countries with the highest levels of unwillingness at 60 percent or higher. Click here to read the full story from Statista.com.

Do Celebrity Vaccine Endorsements Work?

By Staff
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 1:18 PM As vaccines roll out across the U.S., many famous figures are rolling up their sleeves and smiling at the camera at the same time. Many hope that endorsements from trustworthy, popular figures will help encourage people from all walks of life to get vaccinated too, but, according to The New York Times, that might not be the case. Head over to The Times to learn more. 

Vision Expo Extends Free Registration, as Show Organizers Anticipate 5,000+ Attendees for Vision Expo East Orlando

By Staff
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 12:33 AM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions, organizers of Vision Expo, announced that free registration for Vision Expo East 2021, taking place June 2-5 in Orlando, Fla., will be extended indefinitely. The decision to extend the free registration deadline is based on what they describe as a "recent, notable spike in attendee registration. Mitch Barkley, vice president of trade shows and events at The Vision Council, co-owner of Vision Expo, said, “With just four weeks to go until Vision Expo East, we are expecting to have at least 5,000 attendees at the show."

U.S. Optical Sales Continue Downward Trend for Week of April 26-May 2, Jobson Practice Performance Tracker Says

By Staff
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 12:30 AM NEW YORK—National optical sales continued their downward trajectory with minimal declines in all categories over the course of last week, April 26-May 2, according to the latest Jobson Practice Performance Tracker. Starting just over one month ago throughout the U.S., decreasing optical sales continued for the fifth consecutive week last week with declines of -1 index point across the board for all service/product categories being tracked. This coincided with only a few states reporting an increase of cases of COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Are You a Top U.S. Optical Retailer? VM Kicks Off the 2021 Top 50 Optical Retailers Survey, Deadline Is May 19

By Staff
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 12:12 AM NEW YORK—After an extraordinary year of business challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Vision Monday will be publishing its signature Annual Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers Report in its upcoming June print/digital edition this year. The industry's leading news platform is kicking off its annual survey among regional and national retailers today for the signature report, which collates and presents sales and operations data for the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2020.

CDC Says Many Americans Can Now Go Outside Without a Mask

By Staff
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 12:01 AM It’s the return of freedom. It’s the return of us being able to do normal activities again. We’re not there yet, but we’re on the exit ramp. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Digital Commerce Spend to Exceed $11.6 Trillion in 2021, as Transition to Digital Channels Accelerates

By Staff
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 3:54 PM A new study from Juniper Research has found that digital commerce spending will rise to over $11.6 trillion by the end of 2021, from $10.5 trillion last year; a growth of 11.5 percent in a single year. This spend encompasses money transfer, digital goods purchases, physical goods purchases, digital ticketing purchases, banking bill payments, NFC mobile retail payments and QR code retail payments. The research found that the success of digital solutions during the pandemic means that consumer behavior will become increasingly digitally led.

COVID Anxiety Syndrome Rears Its Head

By Staff
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 12:12 PM As more and more people get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the U.S. begins to open back up, some people may be finding that things that were once "normal" are now filling them with dread. According to The Telegraph, professors at London South Bank University and Kingston University first identified the phenomenon, which is now being called COVID Anxiety Syndrome. Head over to The Telegraph to learn more, or read the publication's Twitter thread for a summary. 

CDC: U.S. Cruises Could Restart This Summer

By Staff
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 10:18 AM The CDC says cruise ships can resume operating in U.S. waters—perhaps by mid-July—if the cruise lines meet certain requirements, such as proving that 95 percent of a ship’s guests and 98 percent of the crew are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Poll Shows Worsening Impact of COVID on Mental Health

By Staff
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 10:15 AM Americans worry and anxiety about COVID-19 is not getting better, a new poll shows, while parents remain concerned about the mental health of their children. The national poll from the American Psychiatric Association shows more people reporting mental health effects from the pandemic this year than last.

Restaurants Face Nationwide Chicken Shortage

By Staff
Monday, May 3, 2021 6:23 PM Family-owned restaurants around the U.S. are struggling to keep a steady supply of chicken tenders, wings and breasts on their customers' plates due to a nationwide poultry shortage, according to a recent feature from CBS News.

Some Vaccine Side Effects May Mean Previous Infection

By Staff
Monday, May 3, 2021 10:12 AM People who experience particular side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, such as swollen lymph nodes, may have previously been infected with the coronavirus, according to a new study published on the medRxiv preprint server. The study hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed.

PECAA Launches New Marketing Advisory Service for Its Membership

By Staff
Monday, May 3, 2021 12:18 AM PORTLAND, Ore.—PECAA, a leading nationwide doctor alliance group, has launched a marketing advisory service for its membership.