RICHMOND TOWNSHIP — Up until Thursday afternoon, Stan Bugansky felt like he was in the eye of the storm.

The 53-year-old desperately needed new contact lenses but his appointment with his optometrist was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

“I’m poor, I’m disabled and the only optometrist that Medicaid will pay for is in Cortland, but when I call, all I get is an answering machine,” Bugansky said. 

To make matters worse, Bugansky said he didn’t plan ahead and has been wearing his last pair of contacts for some time.

“I’m severely near-sighted — half-blind without my contacts,” he said. “I’ve called every eye doctor in the county and no one answers.”

Then Bugansky contacted Jefferson optometrist Dr. Henry Covetta at New Vision Eye Care.

Since Bugansky had a copy of his prescription, Covetta gave him free samples.

“Dr. Covetta is wonderful,” Bugansky said. “No one else would help me. I even called Gov. Mike DeWine’s office, to no avail.”

Covetta didn’t want any publicity for his act of kindness, but Bugansky insisted.

“There needs to be a change in routines and procedures during this time,” Bugansky said. “We need to help each other, like Dr. Covetta helped me.”

The College of Optometrists recommends the following eye care during the coronavirus pandemic:

• If you wear contact lenses, switch to glasses for a while.

• Wearing glasses may add a layer of protection.

• Stock up on eye medicine prescriptions if possible.

• Avoid rubbing your eyes.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, anyone who feels an urge to itch or rub their eye or even to adjust your glasses, use a tissue instead of your fingers. If you must touch your eyes for any reason — even to administer eye medicine — wash your hands first with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

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