Case in Point

Mission to beat the fog of 2020


When we get this final issue of 2020 “put to bed” here at the Advocate News, not much time will pass before I begin looking back on our 53 issues from 2020. (Yes 53, given the five weeks in December.)

Next week, we’ll come to you with my favorite issue of the year — our annual Year in Review edition, where we relive area highlights from 2020. Of course, for a plethora of reasons, 2020 will be a year we will never forget.

Yet as we sift through the highs and (many) lows of this year, perhaps I can better select some resolutions and/or highlights to write about again in this space next week.

For now, I come to you with a New Year’s resolution I wasn’t sure I’d ever have to make again in my life.

As I write this, looking at the glow of my computer screen, I’m doing so wearing contact lenses in my eyes for the first time since around 1998 or so. Therefore, I suppose you can say my resolution is to again wear contact lenses.

I’m not doing this “to look cool,” or because I dislike glasses, like I felt in the 1990s. I’m doing it for one simple reason — masks. For the last nine months, we’ve been enduring the COVID-19 pandemic. About half way through, one of the main ways to help stop the spread was the mandating of face coverings.

I don’t know about all of you but, as a glasses wearer, I have yet to find a mask that doesn’t fog up my specs — an annoyance of which I cannot describe.

As I get older, I’ve become more and more dependent on my glasses. Not as much for vision (I’ll explain in a moment), but to cut down on eye fatigue and headaches.

Without getting into the depths of my medical chart, the brief notes with regard to my vision is that I was blessed with one perfect eye, and cursed with one legally blind eye. I’ve always been able to see 20/20 vision (or better) in my right eye. I’ll NEVER be able to see anywhere close to 20/20 in my left eye.

At a young age, my vision problem was detected — hard to do since I was seemingly seeing just fine. Yet once my poor left eye was discovered, my eye was patched at around four years old. I’ve worn glasses ever since. One could imagine how badly I wanted to wear contact lenses. When you were a child in the 1980s, you had three choices of "kids" glasses frames — red, blue and green — and they were all way too big for our faces.

When I was in around sixth or seventh grade, I got contact lenses. In fact, I eventually just wore one in my left eye and went without one in my right eye. I did that until I was about a freshman in high school. I still loved not having to wear glasses at that point; I was just tired of putting them in and out each day. Also, I could only go about 4-5 hours before getting tired of feeling like I had a rock in my eye. When you’re vision is as poor as mine, even soft contacts are quite thick!

So … for the last 22 years or so it’s been glasses for me.

When the pandemic hit, and stuck around, I began noticing fatigue in my “good eye” upon covering things at night for the newspaper — primarily sports — without glasses.

I refuse to wear glasses for long periods of time with a mask on, again the fogging! I finally consulted with my eye doctor to bring back the contact lenses. It’s the first night, and I’m already a bit tired of them.

But I have more patience now than I did then (or so I’m telling myself). I’m going to try and stick it out, and perhaps wear them at night for the 4-5 hours or so that you may find me at area high school basketball games or wrestling meets.

It’s like riding a bike to an extent, I was able to put them in and take them out. Now they are disposable, and they have faint numbers on them so you can tell if they are inside out or not — genius!

Do any of our readers have the trick to keep glasses from fogging up while wearing a mask — and correctly I might add, ABOVE the nose! Send your ideas my way (