Page 37 - ISAKOS 2021 Newsletter Volume 1
P. 37

Of course, I have no schedule on my calendar during my travel period. That means I have more time to concentrate on my own work. As I am retiring from the university next March, I am writing a monograph entitled “Shoulderology: It’s Fun to Solve Clinical Questions and Know More About Shoulder” to give inspiration and encouragement to the young generation. Because of this pandemic, I have been able to spend most of my time during the last 6 months writing this monograph, and finally I have completed the draft! This was a great blessing for me.
In our department, a weekly clinical conference has been held on-line since March 2020 in order to maintain social distancing. Professors' ward rounds and weekly journal club meetings have been cancelled for the same reason. We have very limited contact with each other. Tuesday is my clinic day. The number of patients coming into the clinic has decreased because of the fear of catching the virus. Every week after the clinic, I have lunch with a doctor who helps me to fill out the patients’ electronic charts. In the staff cafeteria, we sit at a table with an acrylic board between us. This looks quite strange, but this is our new lifestyle.
Our daily lives have changed as well. I have not dined out with my family or with my colleagues for the last 6 months. In other words, I have had dinner with my wife at home every day for the last 6 months. This never happened during 34 years of marriage. It is the same for my colleagues. I have made it a rule to go grocery shopping with my wife every Saturday. The grocery stores have placed hand sanitizers at the entrance and at the exit. They have separated the entrances and exits to promote social distancing. Whenever we go outside, we are asked to wear a mask. This summer, the beaches and pools were closed. We could not go anywhere. Instead, we have much time at home, reading books, watching TV, listening to music, and weeding in the backyard during the weekend. I think most of my colleagues and their families are more or less the same. We have now more family time and less social time. Now is the time to consider how to use this newly allocated time of our daily living more wisely and fruitfully because we never know how long this pandemic will last.
Manuel Mosquera
It happened 7 months ago, but it seems like yesterday. I was in Santiago de Chile as a participant in our SLARD international congress, and the news media from around the world was talking about the dire situation, with Italy and Spain trying to control the spread of coronavirus and the high incidence of death. I remember sitting in a café with some friends from Spain who were attending the congress as speakers; we had all heard the rumors that Chile would close its borders and my friends began to worry that they would not be able to return to their families. My advice to them was they had to leave Chile as soon as possible even if they could not give their lectures; fortunately, they did so and returned to Spain that same night.
Early the next day, Chile’s president announced its closure of its borders to Spanish people! My friends had made the right decision; meanwhile, I started to worry about my return to Bogota that was scheduled for the next Saturday at 15:00 hours. After the conclusion of the congress, we were able to take our flight to Colombia. Because I felt exposed to the contact with many people during the meeting and in the airport and plane, I decided to isolate myself for two weeks in order to prevent any risk of exposing my family, coworkers, and friends. Nobody understood my decision, and all argued that it was hasty, but when the days began to pass and the news of multiple cases of COVID were present in Bogota, they understood my reasoning.
My isolation coincided with the quarantine decreed by the government, which meant that I had to close my office and surgery for 3 months. Having so much free time motivated me to work every day on my action plan as president of SLARD in conjunction with the executive committee and the new board of directors. As a result, we quadrupled the number of members, we included all orthopaedic societies and / or associations related to the objectives of the SLARD to be inclusive of all Latin American countries. We spent 2 months developing webinar programs and invited our colleagues from all countries to participate in conferences focusing on topics that are controversial in our professional practices, with international colleagues from different continents serving as opinion leaders. We also began to develop a new website in accordance with the needs of our society and launched our SLARD e-newsletter, which focuses on news from the society, clinical cases, surgical techniques, and so on. Finally, we defined the dates of our congresses in Panama and Cartagena for 2021 and 2022, respectively.
During this unprecedented period in our academic history, we were able to refine 5 consensus statements on controversial and frequent topics, with final round of discussions scheduled to take place during the first Latin American Meeting of Arthroscopy, Joint Reconstruction, and Sports Trauma, to be held in Panama on July 29-31, 2021.
While I learned many things during this long isolation, one of the main lessons is that we are very fragile because a microorganism that we do not even have the ability to see has put all of humanity at high risk, killing many people without warning. I also learned that simple things are full of value in our daily lives. We don’t need a lot of money to be happy, because luxuries in these circumstances neither make sense nor have value. But perhaps the best lesson of this pandemic is to reaffirm that nothing and no one is more important than God and family, which in our life before COVID was left in the background because we believed that our jobs are the main thing. How wrong we were!

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