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Kick Your Way to Social Distancing ... and Other Sage Advice from an Optician Returning to Work

WILL BURDEAUX: Also, don't eat tuna salad when you're wearing a facemask.

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AS OUR WORLD has been turned upside down by COVID-19, I have learned some very important things. The following sage-like advice should spare everyone from discomfort and make our return to work a little easier. Maybe safer, too.

1. When you are wearing a face mask, don’t eat tuna salad for lunch. Seriously, it’s a bad move. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to take a seg height or PD measurement while being assaulted by your own hot fish breath in a closed recirculating system, but I assure you it’s enough to make you rethink tuna fish as a lunch option, even under ideal circumstances. Just. Don’t. Do it.

On a related note, numerous mint options are available for your consideration. I strongly recommend sugar-free peppermint Altoids.

2. Disinfecting will also be an integral part of returning to work, and is likely to be a facet of daily life moving forward. I like to disinfect with alcohol two to three times an hour. Preferably with Tito’s Vodka.

It keeps my mouth, esophagus and stomach disinfected. It has the added benefit of improving my disposition toward people. Remember, the difference between an alcoholic and a drunk is that alcoholics go to meetings. So to that end, avoid meetings at all costs.

3. Some patients may be resistant to the new protocols instituted for the safety and well-being of the staff and other patients. It is important to remind them of the importance of social distancing by faking coughing fits in their direction. It has been amazing to see just how quickly people’s attitudes toward personal protective equipment and social distancing change when confronted with a good hearty coughing fit. If that doesn’t get the point across for you, remind them to keep at least 6 feet away by kicking them in the privates. If the patients are close enough for you to reach their privates, they are close enough to make you sick. I assure you they will appreciate the firm reminder and thank you for taking their health and well-being seriously.

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Finally, remember that we are all in this together, so stay the hell away from each other. A healthy dose of hysterical paranoia may be just the thing we need to move the human species into a new era of peace, love and happiness.

Since you don’t know who is and isn’t carrying the virus, assume that everyone is carrying it. It’s really the only way to be safe.

Good luck to you all. Stay healthy. Don’t die.

On an unrelated note, does anyone have any toilet paper?

Will Burdeaux, ABOC, NCLEC, has been an optician since 1998. Currently, he works at Tallman Eye Associates in Salem, NH.

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