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Subspecialties COVID-19, Health Economics and Policy

Hear Us Roar

It is a privilege to be Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at Wills Eye Hospital, and this has brought with it a generous invitation from The Ophthalmologist to tell the story of how we were affected by the pandemic. I feel tremendously lucky to give the Wills roar; the lionheart that continues to power us through this long fight beats in the courageous breasts of all Wills’ faculty and staff.

We’ve been on a daunting journey over the last months, but it is one that has filled me with pride in our team’s alert, nimble and evidence-based response to the challenges presented by the unprecedented events.

I happened to be reading the Erik Larson bestseller, “The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family and Defiance During the Blitz,” just as the initial wave of SARS-CoV-2 was hurtling around the world and engulfing Boston and New York; cities not far to the north of our Wills Eye Hospital home in Philadelphia. To me, it felt as though there were uncanny parallels between the unrelenting bombardment of London in the 1940s and the incoming early reports of a virus that was hitting our cities, causing us to hunker down. Shops were shuttered, traffic was absent, and we were facing a foe that seemed as menacing to me as any squadron of approaching Nazi Messerschmitts. The COVID-19 Blitz was upon us.

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About the Author

Julia A. Haller

Ophthalmologist-in-Chief, Wills Eye Hospital, William Tasman, MD Endowed Chair, Professor and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University

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