Since last March, COVID-19 has been at the forefront of everything.
The pandemic has dominated every conversation, not just in medicine, but in every facet of life for a full year.
But in that all-consuming conversation, the story was often told daily and immediately. Every day in every state there was an update on cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Every single permutation of the race to develop effective vaccines was covered in science publications, major newspapers, and 24-hour cable news television stations.
But as we reflect back on the last 12 months, at a time where cases and hospitalizations are sinking and vaccinations are increasingly being administered throughout the US, we know we will soon enter a new frontier.
The events of the last year will shape medicine for years to come, whether it is changes to how young doctors are taught as they progress from medical school to residency, or whether the virus will cause new long-term concerns in psychiatry or cardiology.
In COVID-19 Undercurrents: How a Pandemic Changed US Health Care in One Year, we seek to highlight how the pandemic will forever change health care, even when emergency rooms are less crowded and people feel safe to congregate much like they did before March 2020.
In another piece, we examine how the pandemic may have increased the rates of physician suicide, a systemic problem well before any virus began to further exhaust and challenge care teams.
We also focus on whether young athletes may be susceptible to myocarditis or whether adults who contracted COVID-19 could suffer from an onset form of ADHD, much like what was prevalent following the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.
The medical world changed forever due to COVID-19. Doctors are going to learn differently, patients are going to be treated differently, and how we maneuver through life will forever be altered.
But these stories will shed light on some of the lesser known COVID-19 impacts and how what happened under the surface will have a lasting effect on the US health care for years and decades to come.