Looking back at 2020

Before we dive into this week’s HCLDR chat topic, I wanted to take a moment to share this update from HCLDR co-host and friend, Joe Babaian.

 

Last week Joe was admitted to the hospital and began treatment for COVID-19. He gave us all an update via twitter on Sunday afternoon. Joe, our thoughts are with you and your family. The entire community wishes you a smooth and speedy recovery.

Joe, we hope to see you on your feet and back online very soon.

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This year, unlike prior years, HCLDR will be taking a break over the holidays. Our last chat of 2020 will be next Tuesday December 22nd. There will not be a chat on December 29th. Instead, we encourage everyone to unplug and spend time with loved ones…or just curled up with a good book.

  • Dec 22nd – Predictions for 2021 chat
  • Dec 29th – No chat
  • Jan 5th – Promises to ourselves for 2021 chat

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I think it would be an understatement to say that 2020 has unfolded in a way that none of us could have predicted. Pandemics were things we read about in history books and yet here we are at the end of the year having lived through the first deadly global pandemic in a generation.

Millions of people have lost their jobs and with it, their insurance coverage. Thousands have been confined at home in unstable and potentially life-threatening relationships. Thousands of patients who needed care have been unable to receive it. And don’t get me started on the mental health toll that this pandemic has caused.

A lot has gone badly in 2020 and personally there have been some days where it has been tough to find the silver lining. However, with the COVID-19 vaccine starting to roll out, there is cause for hope. Beating the virus is suddenly more tangible.

This week on HCLDR I thought it would be nice to look back at the year, but not focus on all the bad stuff. Rather, I would love to see what lessons we learned and what good things emerged from 2020.

For example, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of virtual care (aka telehealth). For years, patients have been asking for the ability to visit with clinicians without having to go into an office. Thanks to COVID-19 we saw hospitals and physician practices offer virtual visits almost overnight. I hope that the genie is now out of the bottle for good.

Personally, 2020 taught me a lot.

I learned I didn’t miss traveling as much as I thought I would. By the time this pandemic is over, this will have been the longest stretch where I have not traveled for work. It’s awesome being home and cooking dinner every night and not having to pack a suitcase on the weekend.

I also learned how I had taken some things for granted – like stable high-speed internet. I learned from a few friends how their areas lacked coverage and were thus not able to work from home. Their kids were also not able to join in their school’s remote learning programs. I realize now that I’m WiFi-spoiled.

Finally, I learned how much handshakes and hugs mean to me. It took a pandemic to make me realize how much.

Join me on Tuesday December 15th at 8:30pm EST (for your local time click here) when we will be discussing the following topics:

  • T1 What have you learned about yourself in 2020? Or what lessons has society learned?
  • T2 What are some of the positive things that happened in 2020 – either personally or broadly?
  • T3 When you look back at 2020 a few years from now, how will you remember it?
  • T4 What should we never forget about 2020?

Featured Image

Photo by Dele Oke on Unsplash

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