Our lives are way too full of Zoom Meetings. Everyone I talk to tells me they’re sick of them.

Many of the Zoom’s are full of excessive optimism and fluff. I have a suggestion – don’t host a Zoom unless you have something substantive to deliver to the those you depend on to make your living. I find webinars full of messages of optimism depressing when delivered by business people trying to get ODs packed into their Zoom’s with the unspoken goal of salvaging their failing businesses. I’m tired of webinars about optometry and the impact of COVID where 40 out of 50 minutes are about how resilient we are and how we’ll get through this. We KNOW this. I’m a glass-is-half-full person and I’m first in line to offer support and positivism but now that we’ve settled in and are working our way back to the new normal our time is more valuable than ever. We’re not lacking motivation. We look at our families, our 401Ks, our staff who are also our families and the mounting debts and believe me, we’re motivated. I’ve not spoken to one doctor who wasn’t itching to get back to work to restore their wounded practices and incomes. Those motivational webinars were great for mid-March – now teach me something I don’t know. It’s two months further down the road and we’re facing a whole new reality. With the full financial impact yet to be felt and a likely second wave ahead focus on hosting Zoom’s that will better prepare us for what lies ahead.

I was on a webinar last night where the host was repeating how much “better” we are because of what we are going through. I had the distinct feeling he didn’t believe one thing he was telling us and was actually projecting his own hopes for his business onto us. I called him out, asking him, “what exactly is better; I don’t feel things are better, do you?” He couldn’t answer and retracted his statement. I appreciate positivity but let’s get real about the situation and have substantive discussions. I don’t want false hope. He talked about how we will come out of this stronger. Do you think we’ll be stronger? I don’t; I don’t think we’ll be weaker either but I think we’ll be licking our wounds for quite a while. Do I think we’ll get back to normal? Yes. Will we be better? I don’t know about you but I was pretty damn good before and I just want that back. I might be “better” prepared for another pandemic but other than that and other than testing our resiliency how is this making us better? Whatever the answer, we need to spend every hour we are not earning learning. We need Zoom’s from clinical thought leaders. We need novel practice management information or out-of-the-box info on new concepts and technologies, on planning and execution. I don’t need cheerleading; I’m already motivated; use my valuable time to arm me with the tools I need to get back on track. If you want me to take notice of your company and sign on as a customer teach me something that adds value to my patients or my practice.

The philosopher Kierkegaard wisely said, “Life is lived forward, but understood backward”. The jury is still out; if something comes out of this that makes us better and stronger we’ll be able to look back and appreciate it. For now, arm us with information we need to trudge through this muck and put us back to where we were before so we can make our way along the trajectory to “better” than we were before and respect our valuable time.