Are you a nut?

December 14, 2021

I attended my annual eye exam on Friday. The tech brought me into the tiny room to put drops in my eyes, do scans and check my vision. 

While trying to see the eye chart, I commented that it’s a little hard to see the letters while my glasses are fogging up from the mask.

The tech said that she is absolutely fine with me removing the mask altogether if it makes me more comfortable. Thinking that she would want to know, I reassured her that I was fully vaccinated and boosted, but then I asked if she was vaccinated. She said she was not. 

To say I was startled would be an understatement. I behaved badly and asked, “Are you a nut?” which does not meet my standards for articulating my feelings. What I really wanted to know is how she, in good conscience, could service predominantly retired patients and encourage them to remove their masks while putting their health at risk? How many people has this tech infected with her risky approach to patient safety? How does the practice tolerate this behavior?

I assumed, incorrectly, that medical personnel on the front lines of servicing patients in tiny rooms would, of course, be vaccinated. What I failed to comprehend is that even in better vaccinated, eastern Sussex County, we are still subject to the backward mentality of a few selfish people.

I asked the eye doctor how the practice tolerates this and he said that, out of a fear of litigation, the office does not mandate COVID vaccination. I wonder if they have calculated the cost of putting patients unknowingly at risk.

Some will ask if this provider was masked, and yes, she was. However, there was a lot of mask jostling, adjusting up and down and pulling it out for better breathing, because as she admitted, the mask fogs up her equipment as well. All this was taking place as she was quite literally 8 inches from my face.

Thinking back, I regret not stopping the evaluation on the spot and insisting on someone fully vaccinated. From now on, I will ask my tech, before entering the tiny room, if they are fully vaccinated.

Kent Baschwitz
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