As of May 10, all eye care practices in the UK will be moving out of amber and into the green phase. What should feel like a momentous occasion is, in fact, more of an opportunity to reflect upon what we have all become used to over the last couple of years.

Remember the dark ages, before the pandemic, when a thorough handwashing before every patient contact was considered a little OCD? When it was commonplace for staff to feel pressurised into attending for work in a busy practice despite suffering a streaming cold. When travel to work on packed, sniffle-ridden public transport, with only the occastional tourist wearing a mask, was the norm.

I remember, several times, having to mark a trainee down for lack of hand hygiene in a contact lens assessment. One trainee appealed against such a decision, despite them having manually opened the lid of the bin before then applying a contact lens. I also remember the novelty of in-house testing for an inflammatory biomarker using the InflammaDry ‘pregnancy test’ style cartridge. With near daily lateral flow testing, this no longer seems quite so cutting edge.

So, an overall improved level of hygiene is a positive outcome from a generally awful event. Mask-wearing, regular testing, hand hygiene, surface decontamination and sterilisation, sensible infection avoidance for staff and patient alike, and keeping a full vaccination profile are here to stay. And a good thing too.

I found another Covid-related phenomenon the other day. While seeking the latest views on Charles Bonnett syndrome, I came across an excellent piece of work by a group of postgraduate students at University College London. Inspired by reports of an increase in especially vivid dreams experienced by people in lockdown, the group have put together films based around dream descriptions submitted by hundreds of people. Have a look at pep-web.org/browse/document/pepgrantvs.001.0015A.

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