Covid has hit some professions much harder than the opticians. Small dental studios and newly – established chains are both suffering. The parallels with the optics world are thought -provoking.
The Italian newspaper, the “Corriere della Sera” made it quite clear that many health professionals are going through a crisis that they see no way out of. Dentists are in this category. For obvious reasons they were the first to close, and now they are finding it difficult to start up again. To begin with, people are afraid. Then the rigid safety measures have imposed protocols that the opticians, for example, would not have been able to manage.
Their turnover has possibly fallen as much as 50%, even post-lockdown.
This heralds a likely disappearance of the chains, especially foreign ones, from the Italian market. The complaints of the optics sector are nothing in comparison with the woeful cry from the dentists whose gross annual income is about 46,000 Euros. Young dentists are already moving away.
The dentists’ standing in society has also been questioned since the government denied their request for financial compensation to put their health and safety measures in place. This sounds like a “spiteful” reaction from the government. Who knows? Perhaps some dentist presented a steep bill to the wrong politician!! Altogether, however, not a good omen for the future dental health of Italian citizens.
For once, the figure of the optician as “ one of those suspended “, so not quite in a category, and this has helped opticians avoid bearing the brunt of excessive safety regulations. Instead they can count on their commercial role as distributors of lenses and little screws for spectacles in order to stay open in lockdown, and in order to start up faster.
This helpful neutral position of the opticians must not make them forget the absolute necessity of offering real health and safety measures to potential clients.
Whatever the written rules say, there will be ever more need for these.