Bill Lockwood, Chairman/Publisher
Bill Lockwood, Chairman/Publisher

2020 was a year we are not likely to forget, thanks to COVID. What we have is a new normal that is affecting our daily lives.

Can you imagine what it would be like had the federal government not stepped in with bailout money for consumers and businesses? Even so, social distancing has had a disruptive effect on conferences and conventions. Hotels and convention centers have taken a huge financial hit, as have the airlines.

There was a very informative essay in the Review section of the Saturday/Sunday Wall Street Journal (October 17-18) titled: “The Long Shadow of the Pandemic: 2024 and Beyond,” written by Nicholas Christakis. Dr. Christakis directs the Human Nature Lab at Yale University, where he is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science. The essay was adapted from his new book, Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live.

In it he says: “With a good vaccine or without one, Americans will live in an acutely changed world until 2022 — wearing masks, avoiding crowded places and limiting travel, at least if they wish to avoid getting or spreading the virus.”

He goes on to say, that for some time after we reach either herd immunity or have a widely distributed vaccine, people will still be recovering from the overall clinical, psychological, social, and economic shock of the pandemic and the adjustments it required, likely through 2024. This is not a pretty picture.

Fortunately, we have the technology in place to keep the wheels turning. The internet has allowed virtual meetings and conferences to fi ll the void. It has allowed our educational institutions to continue to operate. It has enabled a work-at-home alternative to going to an office. It seems that everything is now virtual. I wonder what it would be like without the internet and the technology to connect to it.

Pharmacy was an essential business and allowed to stay open during the lockdown period. And pharmacy will be pivotal in administering a vaccine when one is available. Pharmacy is qualified and ready. The pharmacy systems have the software in place to document and report vaccines administered to state registries and bill out the charge. This is just one more example of how the technology used in pharmacies is paying off.

Yes, 2020 was quite a year. CT

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