2020: year of change and challenge

Update on my new job as an editor!

Bright Christmas #24

Who could have predicted what 2020 would bring us? This year challenged us all in new ways we did not deem possible in 2019. Due to our governments being equally unprepared, many have loved ones to mourn. But if you are reading this, you made it through. You adapted to a new routine, saw your friends and family digitally and forged a new relationship with your working-from-home outfit (thank you for your service, sweatpants).

We have come to the end of December again to celebrate the return of light. Fittingly, we can see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel as the first people are getting vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. We can soon welcome the end of the year we all want to say goodbye to. But, as you know if you have read my previous post, I also have a few bright things to celebrate this year.

I started a new job as Senior Editor for The Lancet Regional Health – Europe. My days are now filled with reading new articles being considered for our journal (a childhood dream of mine to have a job reading) and assessing, with the help of reviewers’ comments, whether the articles are fit for publication. I have yet to write my first editorial but that will come when our first full issues start launching in February 2021. An additional part of our job is keeping an eye on (social) media in our field, which in these times meant press conferences about the pandemic’s effect in Eastern Europe and public meetings about vaccine regulations in the European Union.

Because of the worsening situation all over Europe in November, my boss assured me I should never feel pressured to come to the office. We decided together that for my first week it would none the less be more comfortable if I did – in a new professional outfit including facemask. Restaurants had closed but when I did go into the office, I would get a take-away meal and eat it in our kitchen – at 1.5 m distance from my colleagues. End of the year celebrations were also not possible in real life, so they were all moved online. A professional look back highlighted that only 321 days stood in between the first publication of clinical presentations of COVID-19 in Wuhan1 and the first published phase III trial of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine2, both in The Lancet. On a lighter note: we also had a quiz, an online escape room and a comedy night! All fun ways to meet my new colleagues online.

My new job also meant a move to a new city, a new country, and moving in with my boyfriend after a 3-year long-distance relationship. A pandemic is not the best time to get to know a new city, but in my time in Munich I have nonetheless already discovered some favorite spots (and beer gardens). But I know there is a lot left to explore and I look forward to doing that in 2021, hopefully with visiting friends and family.

So, as we say goodbye to this year, I am also welcoming next year to continue the journey I am on. 2020 was a year of change and challenges for all of us – not all of them bad. I hope 2021 brings you all you want in work and life, as this unexpected year 2020 brought me.

I wish you Frohe Weihnachten, Merry Christmas, Vrolijk Kerstfeest, Joyeux Noël, God Jul!

Or just a relaxing day off. You earned it!

Pictures from Pixabay (monika1607, geralt).

  1. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China
    Huang C, et al.
    Published online: January 24, 2020 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30183-5
  2. Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK
    Voysey M, et al.
    Published online: December 08, 2020 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32661-1

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