In his latest editorial, Dr. Randolph Waldman looks forward to 2021 and how COVID-19 will continue to change the aesthetic specialty.
There is no question that zoom calls and working remote has resulted in a somewhat unexpected boon for many of our practices. Many of us are busier than before COVID-19, but even so, our lives have changed dramatically.
Many of us have dealt with illness among our staff, friends, and family. Wearing a mask all day long and all of the other pandemic precautions we are taking in our personal and professional lives is wearing on all of us. Importantly, will we face more shutdowns this winter?
We have been told a vaccine is our only real hope. Despite some bureaucrats who have tried to convince us that a vaccine is years away and any vaccine developed in less time will likely be ineffective and even dangerous, both Pfizer and Moderna have released the early results of their respective phase 3 studies, which were nothing more than amazing. The vaccine that was years away is now ready for distribution to millions, and it appears to be more effective than even the common influenza vaccine—95%! An amazing testament to the work of our outstanding colleagues in the pharma industry and the partnership formed between government and industry when it was most needed.
So major kudos to all involved in Project Warp Speed. We are so proud and thankful of those who designed, administered, and volunteered for the various clinical trials. Hopefully, the negative narrative for the vaccine propagated for political reasons will not provide a blockade to universal participation. We as physicians must set the right example. And while we may not be able to celebrate a completely normal holiday season with family and friends in 2020, perhaps we can all soon come out of hiding and remove the pandemic-specific signs and protocols from our offices.
Finally, what changes that have occurred will stay with us post COVID-19? Will virtual consultations continue to play a major role in our practices? Will the current boom in our practices remain and, if so, for how long? What about the economy and the effect of rapidly accelerating national debt? Can we survive another major economic downturn? Will live CME conferences and meetings return to normal anytime soon? Can our respective societies and organizations regain strength? Will member participation ever be the same? And, most importantly, will the COVID-19 virus still be around a year from now?
Those questions remain to be answered. One thing we can be sure of: We are all ready to put 2020 behind us and see if we can find any normalcy in 2021.