After What We’ve All Been Through, the Optical Industry Is Pining for Baseball to Begin

By Mark Tosh
Friday, February 26, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Spring is in the air—at least we can hope. Yes, it does appear the tide is finally starting to turn against this awful year-long pandemic and perhaps even the harshest days of winter are winding down across the country. But another sure sign that a new spring isn’t far off is the start of the Major League Baseball season. Those magic words—pitchers and catchers are reporting—resonated against a wintry backdrop just two weeks ago and, thankfully, the real spring training games begin this weekend.

The Pandemic Takes Its Toll on Our Mental Health

By Mary Kane
Friday, February 19, 2021 3:30 PM It’s no secret that after living with COVID-19 for nearly a year now, most of us are pretty burned out. Many of us are coming up on the one-year anniversary of working from home, and let’s face it, working where you live isn’t everything we thought it would be. Sure, saving money and time on the daily commute is a plus, but the ability and addiction to work harder and longer hours has blurred the lines between our work and personal lives. Add in the stress of trying to stay safe from COVID-19, home-schooling kids, and juggling the responsibilities of work and family and you have a recipe for a mental health pandemic.

This Valentine’s Day, Love Is in the Pair

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, February 12, 2021 8:30 AM BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—No matter how you feel about the sometimes-controversial holiday, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day brings a special feeling along with it each and every year. Whether you’re coupled up or practicing self-love, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to spend a little more time thinking about the people and places you love. In Bloomington, Illinois, independent eyewear shop Specs Around Town is celebrating Valentine’s Day by showing the love for their customers—and their frames. On Instagram, the Specs Around Town team debuted a series called Love is in the Pair, which spotlights the shop’s customers, their other half, and, of course, their frames.

CES, Much Smaller in Virtual Form, Remains a Prime Showcase for Optical Tech

By Andrew Karp
Friday, February 5, 2021 8:00 AM It’s hard to say how many miles of aisles I’ve walked over the 10 years that I’ve attended CES, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Let’s just say I have worn out several pairs of shoes while treading the floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Convention Center and other CES venues.  This year I spared my soles and let my fingers do the walking, as they used to say in those old Yellow Pages ads. (Remember them?) That’s because CES, like countless conventions and meetings around the world, was a virtual event.

A Swirl of News About COVID-19 as J&J's New Vaccine Reports Positive Trial Results

By Mark Tosh
Friday, January 29, 2021 7:33 AM The news from Johnson & Johnson early Friday about the positive results of its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial comes amid a swirl of conflicting news about coronavirus, including the increasing spread of variants of the virus, a push by the Biden Administration to speed up the immunization process for Americans and reports that the number of COVID-19 cases globally surpassed 100 million (or 1.3 percent of the world’s population) in mid-week, according to news reports. To catch you up on what the companies and some health care observers are saying about the vaccines, VMAIL Weekend recaps some of the latest developments.

A Look Back at Weekend's Most Read Features in 2020

By Mary Kane
Friday, January 22, 2021 7:30 AM To say that 2020 was a monumental year for news is an understatement. Let’s just say there was a lot going on. But through it all, Vision Monday was able to bring you a little relief from the constant barrage of news and current events with our weekly VMAIL Weekend editions. Now that 2020 is officially over, we here at Weekend thought it might be a good time to look back at some of our most popular features from our 2020 Today’s Read archives. So here they are, 10 of Vision Monday's readers' Most Read Today’s Reads from 2020. Although it was a year many of us would like to forget, the VM staff did manage to provide some respite and relief from the tumultuous events that were the hallmark of 2020.

As Vaccines Roll Out, ECPs Get in Line

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, January 15, 2021 8:33 AM NEW YORK—Across the country, COVID-19 vaccine rollout has kicked off. Most states are still in the early phases of vaccination, which usually includes older, more vulnerable members of the population, and certain frontline and health care workers. In many states, those health care workers include ECPs. For many, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is a cause for hope, joy and celebration. To honor the science that got us here, many in the optical community have taken to social media to share the news of their vaccinations—and to share what The Cut is calling “The Vaxxie,” or the Vaccination Selfie. Here we take a look at The Vaxxie in the optical community. Read More

As Vaccines Roll Out, ECPs Get in Line

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, January 15, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Across the country, COVID-19 vaccine rollout has kicked off. Most states are still in the early phases of vaccination, which usually includes older, more vulnerable members of the population, and certain frontline and health care workers. In many states, those health care workers include ECPs. For many, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is a cause for hope, joy and celebration. To honor the science that got us here, many in the optical community have taken to social media to share the news of their vaccinations—and to share what The Cut is calling “The Vaxxie,” or the Vaccination Selfie. Here we take a look at The Vaxxie in the optical community.

From Processing ‘Scripts’ to Reading Scripts: How 3 Ex Optical Lab Owners Found Success in the Film Biz

By Andrew Karp
Friday, January 8, 2021 8:30 AM It’s a plotline straight out of the movies. Three former optical wholesale lab owners leave behind the daily grind of making prescription eyewear to become producers of independent films featuring Alec Baldwin, Marisa Tomei and other big name stars. Like the legal disclaimer seen at the start of many movies, this story is based on actual events. In fact, the main characters—Michael J. Rothstein, formerly Hirsch Optical in New York, Mike Palkovicz, formerly of I-See Optical Lab in New Jersey and Greg Ruden, formerly of Expert Optics in Illinois—are real people who are well-known to many in optical. How they landed their dream job is the true story of three middle-aged guys who each sold their successful family business, invested in an indie production company, took a leap into the unknown and landed on their feet.

UPDATED: It's Time to Turn the Page and Begin Planning for 2021 Industry Events

By Staff
Wednesday, December 30, 2020 2:58 PM This story has been updated to reflect the new dates and other details that have been announced for a number of industry events since the story was posted at the beginning of January.

NEW YORK—Meet the New Year! Let’s hope it’s not the same as the old year (with apologies to The Who, of course). For starters, let’s look as optimistically as possible at the great opportunities and expectations awaiting us personally and professionally in 2021. No looking back. We find that a positive way to start a new year is with a Planner of some sort (we’re old school and like the paper version, but there’s plenty of digital tools for this, too). This makes it easy to record and plan for key events in the New Year.

The Power of Words in a Year Unlike Any Other

By Mary Kane
Wednesday, December 23, 2020 12:43 PM Blursday. Unprecedented. Doomscrolling. And of course, Pandemic. These were the words that occupied our brains for most of 2020. Words, it turns out, can be a powerful thing—it’s how we express our feelings and emotions. And this year, during the worst pandemic in over 100 years, for many of us words became a coping mechanism. They defined the situation we found ourselves in and helped give meaning to the world and events unfolding before our eyes. Every year, wordsmiths like Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Dictionary.com select their word of the year and word lists of the year, as do other news organizations and magazines. Here is a sampling of their selections.

A Year on TikTok

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, December 18, 2020 12:00 AM NEW YORK—No doubt about it, 2020 is a year for the history books in countless different ways. Among the many culturally significant changes 2020 has brought us, the rise of TikTok as one of the world’s most popular and powerful social media channels is hard to ignore. Once a semi-niche video-sharing platform for teens and Gen-Z, TikTok is now one of the world’s most popular social channels, with over 200 million monthly active users, according to Statista. SocialMediaToday reported that the app is projected to reach one billion users in 2021.

Mojo Vision’s Mike Wiemer Sees the Future Through Smart Contact Lenses

By Andrew Karp
Friday, December 11, 2020 11:13 AM This week, wearable technology company Mojo Vision announced that it is collaborating with contact lens maker Menicon to develop smart contact lens products. The move marks an important step forward for the California-based company, which for the past three years has been developing the Mojo Lens, a sensor-enabled contact lens that can give the wearer augmented reality viewing capability. To date, the only smart, sensor-enabled contact lenses on the market is the Sensimed Triggerfish, which provides an automated recording of continuous ocular dimensional change over 24 hours and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016.

The Promise of the Vaccine

By Mary Kane
Friday, December 4, 2020 1:14 PM This past Wednesday, there were 3,157 COVID-19 deaths reported across the U.S.—an all-time high since the pandemic began. Wednesday’s death toll surpassed the number of people killed in the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), said the next few months of the COVID-19 pandemic will be among “the most difficult in the public health history of this nation.” A very sobering milestone and a dire prediction from one of the country’s leading health care officials. But the past few weeks have also brought us some very positive news. It seems there is a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, and unlike a lot of things in 2020, it’s not a train heading our way. That bright and very hopeful light is the long-awaited vaccine for COVID-19.

#ShopSmall and Small Business Saturday Take on More Meaning in 2020

By Mark Tosh
Wednesday, November 25, 2020 12:00 AM NEW YORK—This has been a difficult year for many businesses, but perhaps small businesses have been hurt more than most. This is one reason many small-business owners are looking forward to the annual Small Business Saturday event that takes place today, Nov. 28, sandwiched in between Black Friday (which won’t look the same this year) and Cyber Monday, which is projected to be another boon for retailers with an online presence.