PAAO President’s Message

March 2020

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

“I am staying home. Please wash your hands very carefully and respect the distance of at least 2 meters from one another. We need to take care of ourselves, our families and in particular of our elderly friends.”

– Roger Federer

We are in the middle of a storm represented by the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by this newly discovered virus which is rapidly spreading in many parts of the world.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the signs and symptoms of the disease, its causes and how the virus spreads. Most individuals infected with the COVID-19 will have fever, cough, mild to moderate headache and muscular pain of variable intensity. Others may have symptoms of a mild flu or even just a cold. Concise and precise scientific information is key to help the population to overcome this pandemic.

Your PAAO is organizing a new webinar entitled “Coronavirus: good practices in Ophthalmology” with up to date information regarding this disease.

However, older people and those with underlying diseases such as cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, cancer, and immunological mediated conditions may develop serious illness.

To avoid or slow down transmission, the words of Roger Federer, the best tennis player of all times (unbiased and expert opinion) are very important. Protect yourself and others from infection by simple procedures such as washing your hands and using an alcohol-based sanitizer frequently. Do not touch others, particularly avoiding shaking hands, touching the face and mouth.

More than ever, we need to help each other in particular protecting older people who are more susceptible to this viral disease.

We can and will beat this pandemic, hopefully soon and loosing as few patients as possible.

There is no doubt in my mind that with courage, solidarity, and generosity these extraordinary times will soon pass and we will work together towards a bright future.

With affection and admiration,

Miguel N Burnier Jr, MD, MSc, PhD, FRCSC

PAAO President