“I am not one who’s been going out and about, but I went to the Bethesda clinic, and I felt very safe and very cared for. There was Plexiglas to protect the patient and the receptionist, and I was immediately met by someone in the office to take me into an exam room so I wasn’t left waiting. The tech came in wearing a mask and was as professional as the techs always are, asking the appropriate questions, taking down the information, doing the appropriate exams.
“When Dr. (Mona) Kaleem came in, she had taken the time to look at my chart — at my very complicated medical history — so when she came in, she didn’t say ‘What brings you here today?’ She knew all about me because she took the time to look at my history. It’s a wonderful feeling to be put at ease like that — to have the sense that someone knows you before they’ve even met you. This was my first experience with her, and I felt that she cared. She was extremely knowledgeable, and it was very comforting.
“My experience at Bethesda during [COVID-19] was just like any other experience at Wilmer. The doctors are so professional, the technicians so knowledgeable and everyone is so kind. It’s just like when you go to Baltimore. The whole ethos at Johns Hopkins is one that other hospitals can only hope to model.
“I want to encourage patients to please take care of their eyes, and don’t be afraid. Get your eyes checked and keep seeing your eye doctor, because your sight is so valuable, and sometimes we take it for granted. And we can’t [take sight for granted], because it’s a beautiful thing.”