A Year that was un ”Forgettable”

Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy

Dear colleagues

What a year 2020 has been!!! The world has experienced some unprecedented highs and lows in a span of 12 months. While our day today lives have been limited, tested, and squeezed hard by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it brought out the best in us as humanity – unfettered resolve and gumption to survive and face the enemy with incredible bravery. Our sincere thanks and salutations to millions of healthcare colleagues around the world for their service and sacrifice in fighting this new enemy. It is incredible to see how quickly we learnt so many things about this new virus we had so little information about, to start with, there were a record number of clinical studies and over 100,000 publications on the effects of SARS-CoV-2 in less than year. We tested an amazing number of therapies ranging from Hydroxychloroquine through monoclonal antibodies against this uncanny pathogen with an incredible speed and have vaccinated millions of frontline health care workers in a record setting timeline.

While skeptics can look at all the political banter, anti-science noise and many other missed opportunities, at the end of the day let us not forget to take pride what we accomplished in such short timeline while we race against time. Despite all these hurdles and limitations, we as humanity and scientists have risen to the occasion to restrict the spread and quickly find the many answers, we needed to successfully fight COVID-19. As the pandemic continues to rage its way through the world there is light at the end of all of this. We still have several thousands dying every day and several more getting infected. There is tremendous amount of work ahead of us – the collective efforts of governments, healthcare organizations, drug manufacturers and public at large should help us towards containing this panacea and put an end to this meaningless loss of lives.

In the United States people’s voice prevailed and hopefully 4 years of unabashed demagoguery, racial tensions and anti-science rhetoric will soon come to an end. The world needs healing and its time to find unity in diversity. There are several key wins for Women’s rights. All the women in Saudi Arabia can now drive their own cars and travel across the world. It is a small win yet an important one while sacrifices of activists like Loujain al-Hathloul lay down the foundation for the many fights in breaking down the gender barrier. It is incredible to see a woman slated to become the first Vice-President of the United States. It always puzzled me why it so long for the “most civilized” nation in the world it took so long to break this ceiling compared to many other nations like Sri Lanka, India, England have done it several decades ago. The brutal killings of unarmed racial minorities exposed the ugliness of humanity it broke down the barriers to have an open conversation on race relations in the Western world. Hope these dark scars of humanity help us pave new grounds for the social justice movement.

The EP world lost several important thought leaders like Hein Wellens, John Gallagher, Eduardo Sosa, and Jimmy Li. Their pioneering work will live on through many generations of electrophysiologists who they have influenced and inspired. In this issue of the journal, we have many manuscripts that shed new light on critical aspects of atrial fibrillation pathophysiology and interventions. On behalf of the editorial board and the managerial team I wish you a safe and fabulous New Year 2021.


Dhanunjaya (DJ)Lakkireddy MD, FACC, FHRS Editor-in-Chief JAFIB