Hitting Rewind on Today’s Read 2020

By Mary Kane
Thursday, July 2, 2020 12:00 AM Well, we are about halfway through 2020 and to say the least, it’s been a helluva year so far. The pandemic, which no one saw coming, has truly rocked our world and the challenges it brings just keep on morphing. If the pandemic has taught us nothing else, at least we now know we can adapt and pivot no matter what comes our way. The editors at VMAIL Weekend hope you are settled in for a nice long holiday weekend. And what better way to kick things off than a look back at some of our more popular Today’s Read features. So before you fire up that grill, pour yourself another cup of Joe and read through some stories you might have missed. In these trying times, we hope you’ll be able to find some hope, faith and inspiration in these stories.

Say 'Cheese' for Your #SunglassesSelfie—It’s National Sunglasses Day

By By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, June 26, 2020 10:15 AM NEW YORK—Happy National Sunglasses Day! Every year on June 27, the optical community comes together to celebrate National Sunglasses Day, a day meant to promote the importance of UV protective eyewear for overall health. The holiday, promoted by The Vision Council, is a reminder that sunglasses are both a fashion statement and a health necessity.

Looking Through Some Very Special Vintage Opera Glasses

By Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology
Thursday, June 18, 2020 7:26 AM The Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center is one of the jewels in New York’s cultural crown. You’d think that, as a native New Yorker, I would have availed myself of this treasure by now. But I’ve never set foot in the place. I suppose that’s because my taste in music runs toward jazz, blues and country. Yet friends tell me that the sheer spectacle of grand opera is worth the price of admission, even if the singing, however brilliant, is not my thing. So the Met is on my bucket list. When I finally get there, I’ll be prepared to take it all in. I’ve got a pair of opera glasses, a very good pair, in fact.

The Dad Factor

By Staff
Friday, June 12, 2020 1:15 PM I’m a writer and magazine editor, as VMAIL Weekend regulars know. My father, Marvin Karp, was a writer and magazine editor, too. Yet I’ve never thought of myself as being “a chip off the old block” or “following in his footsteps.” Those outdated phrases don’t capture the essence of our relationship as writers. We had different interests, and took very different paths in our careers. But if it hadn’t been for Dad, I might not have considered trying to make a living slinging words on a page, or screen. With Father’s Day coming up next week, the Weekend team thought it would be interesting to ask some fathers, sons and daughters who work in optical to tell us about their experiences working together. Here’s what we learned.

Test Your Optical IQ With VM’s Weekly News Quiz

By Mary Kane
Saturday, June 6, 2020 12:01 AM Since many of us have been cooped up since mid-March, our screen time has skyrocketed. Keeping up with the news, staying in touch with friends and family, and getting our jobs done has resulted in a LOT of time online. But sometimes being online can provide the perfect escape from the harsh realities of the world—it’s a place we go to for a break in the action, to forget about life for a little while. The Editors here at VMAIL Weekend thought it might be fun for our readers to test their knowledge about current events in the optical world. So for a lighter look at the news, click here to take VM’s Weekly News Quiz. Going forward, it will be a regular department in our Weekend Edition. Happy Quizzing.

Please (!) Let the Games Begin

By Mark Tosh
Friday, May 29, 2020 4:00 PM NEW YORK—This coronavirus situation has left many of us with more than enough time to contemplate the future, especially as it relates to our businesses and professions. What will optical retail look like in 2021? What about eyecare and independent optometry practices? How will the conventional sales call be transformed? What about industry meetings? The one thing that seems certain around all of these questions is that no one really knows right now what the future will look like. It’s going to be a wait-and-see evolution. Sports was more or less in this same boat in April, but now some of the pieces of the puzzle are beginning to fall into place.

Yet Another Change...Celebrating Memorial Day 2020—Virtually, of Course

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, May 22, 2020 10:24 AM NEW YORK—Memorial Day 2020 is shaping up to look pretty different from the unofficial start of summer that most of us are used to. This year, with social gatherings and interstate traveling off the table, most Americans will be unable to celebrate Memorial Day in the traditional ways—but that doesn’t mean we have to write the holiday off completely. This year will mark another change in Memorial Day’s history: our first ever virtual Memorial Day. So there’s no better time than now to sit down and actually learn about the history of Memorial Day, and how it evolved into what we know now today.

The Fog Is Starting to Lift

By Andrew Karp
Friday, May 15, 2020 11:13 AM The other day I was rummaging around in my desk drawer searching for Cat Crap. Before you say, “Yecch,” let me explain. Cat Crap—an attention-getting brand name if there ever was one—is a wax-like product that you apply to eyeglass lenses to prevent them from fogging up. My glasses tend to fog up when I put on my face mask and venture outside, a problem many of us are encountering since the pandemic began.

5 NYC Ophthalmology Residents Answer the Ultimate Call to Duty

By Mary Kane
Friday, May 8, 2020 3:30 PM On March 14, when New York City went into lockdown mode due to the spread of COVID-19, people’s lives were up-ended in ways thought to be unimaginable. Businesses shut down, schools closed and everyone was instructed to shelter in place. As the emergency rooms began filling up, it became apparent that the health care systems in New York City were in danger of becoming stretched to capacity, straining the hospitals and the health care workers manning the frontlines. While many health care workers were encouraged to come out of retirement to aid in the fight, there was another untapped potential source of workers—medical students. Five ophthalmology residents from Mount Sinai volunteered to be redeployed to Elmhurst Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital. Here is their story.

Listen Up, Tune In and Chill Out: People Turn to Podcasts for News and Information

By Mark Tosh
Friday, May 1, 2020 12:00 AM NEW YORK—Echoing an old line, it seems to be the best of times, and the worst of times, for podcasts and podcasters. Yes, most people have a lot more time on their hands and are looking for new forms of entertainment. But, on the other hand, commuting to work is way down. The train or bus routes that had been one of the places podcasting flourished have almost ceased to exist. The bottom line is that the podcast sector is a bit of an unknown right now as the U.S. market closes in on two months of work-from-home and a shelter-in-place mentality. One thing seems certain, though: news podcasts, including those focusing on COVID-19 developments, are among the most popular subjects among listeners.

Celebrating Fifty Years of Earth Day, This Time at Home

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, April 24, 2020 2:28 PM NEW YORK—This Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and although it looked a little different this year, with most of us unable to gather for events like rallies and gardening sessions, Earth Day remains an increasingly vital holiday. For half a century now, people around the world have come together on April 22 to do good and demand good for our home planet—and it all started with Gaylord Nelson, a junior senator from Wisconsin, Pete McCloskey, a Republican Congressman, and Denis Hayes, a young activist. Together, they organized campus teach-ins across the country on April 22, 1970, in response to an oil spill in Santa Barbara. That movement blossomed into the Earth Day we know today, which is “widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world.”

Creating a Pandemic Playlist

By Andrew Karp
Friday, April 17, 2020 10:06 AM Since the pandemic began, my VM colleagues have written some terrific and timely Today’s Read pieces aimed at helping readers get through these strange and frightening times. Gwen Plummer wrote how to stay sane during a crisis. Mark Tosh chimed in with suggestions for taking our minds off “that other thing.” Mary Kane share her observations, as well as reports from readers, about our WFH (Work From Home) experiences. As I prepared for my turn to take over this space, I realized what tough acts these are to follow. As I searched for a fresh angle on the COVID-19 crisis, I hit on the idea of curating a Pandemic Playlist, which seemed to offer creative possibilities.

#WFH Is Our New Normal: Views From the Home Office

By Mary Kane
Friday, April 10, 2020 2:43 PM A mere month ago, the idea of working from home seemed like a sought after luxury—no commute to deal with, 7 to 8 hours of golden silence to write, edit, or brainstorm in the comfort of my sunny kitchen, happily work away. The old adage, be careful what you wish for, is now front and center in my newfound world. And in an eerie way, the concept of working remotely is no longer something that is looked upon as an option—it’s a directive that’s been thrust upon us.

8 Things (Some Free) to Keep You Distracted From Thinking About That Other Thing

By Mark Tosh
Friday, April 3, 2020 2:58 PM NEW YORK—Good morning. It’s Saturday, in case you’ve lost track. The start of the weekend and time to take a break and relax. Yes, in fact, it might be a good day to get out and ….. oh, wait. We’re not doing that now. If you’re in New York, New Jersey, New Orleans or many other places around the nation, what you need is a distraction—a fun and tranquil diversion—to get you through the weekend. So here are eight things that we believe will carry you through the weekend and take your mind off that other stuff going on out there. At least it’s a start on what to talk about on your next Zoom happy hour.

There are Doctors in the House, and Eye Doctors in the Senate

By Andrew Karp
Friday, March 27, 2020 5:45 PM Medical doctors have always been part of American political life, from the founding of our nation to the present day. Many physicians have held public office throughout the years on the local, state and national level. A total of 52 physicians have served in the U.S. Senate to date, according to the official Senate website, Senate.gov. Many others have served in the House of Representatives. Currently, there are 18 doctors serving in the 116th Congress, including four who are Senators. This is significant since doctors, particularly those who become lawmakers, can be influential voices in battles over federal health care legislation, one of the most urgent and contentious topics of debate in this election year. Among the 18 doctors who are presently serving in Congress, two of them are eye doctors.