We all knew a second lockdown was coming, so the announcement this week of a return to the College’s amber phase for practices added no more to the steaming up we all battle with in clinic at present.

On the other hand, good news from Liverpool. The trial of two weekly testing for all is a major step towards the universal testing called for by many since May and which, combined with effective track and tracing, might play a major role in minimising disease impact while we await vaccines. I suspect there has been a much-needed rethink of the initial track and trace programme, and some of you may well have been contacted recently to be part of the newly expanded team of clinical contact caseworkers – roles we were encouraged to apply for earlier this year.

Initial problems with ‘T&T’ included the use of an old version of Microsoft Excel for handling the enormous data sets, something for which the program was clearly not designed. This prompted comedian Lloyd Langford to comment on how rare it was to see ‘excel’ and ‘track and trace’ in the same sentence. Let us hope things are now moving ahead.

On a different matter, some of you may have noticed a new study1 suggesting that E-Scoop lenses, designed to help AMD patients with their bilateral vertical prism and yellow tint, had ‘no effect on quality of life’. The yoked prism design of these has never made sense to me, but I have heard several patients claiming great improvement when wearing them. Is this anecdotal evidence of an actual visual improvement via eccentric viewing, a benefit from the tint alone, or a perceived improvement after investing often a large sum of money in a possible aid to a notoriously challenging disease? A question that crops up often and elsewhere in optometry.