This May, DDW will again be a virtual meeting. Not only does this pandemic continue, but it has re-emerged with a vengeance in several states. Michigan leads the nation in cases per 100,000, with the UK variant now predominant. Younger adults are being most impacted. There have been almost 250 confirmed COVID-19in fully vaccinated people in Michigan. COVID-19 will be with us for a long time.
Despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus, scientific research and the need for up-to-date education continues. There are numerous educational sessions that will be available for us to view and opportunities for interacting with speakers in many. I hope you will take advantage of a virtual DDW to refresh knowledge and learn about new modalities to care for our patients.
Three cover stories this month should be of interest. A new AGA guideline has been published and it recognizes the advances made in construction and use of intragastric balloons. Current balloons positively add to weigh loss and, when used correctly, are safer and more effective than in the past. Gastroenterologists should enter the bariatric arena in multiple ways from lifestyle counseling to endoscopic therapies. We have much to add to this field. Another cover article concerns infliximab’s influence on development of COVID-19 antibodies. The last discusses how minority status influences liver transplant listing; we continue to uncover the impact of implicit bias in our medical decisions.
I hope you continue to take care of yourself, your families, and those in your communities. We are close to a return to normalcy but are not out of the woods yet. This is a time of reset in our nation, and we all should remember that we are a social network that works only when we look beyond ourselves. I have quoted Tom Friedman before: “Respect science, respect nature, respect each other.”
Have a happy and healthy spring.
John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF
Editor in Chief