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SPECIAL ARTICLE  COVID-19 SECTION Open accessopen access

Italian Journal of Emergency Medicine 2021 August;10(2):61-6

DOI: 10.23736/S2532-1285.21.00085-9

Copyright © 2021 THE AUTHORS

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

language: English

Reflections on a year of COVID-19: an American perspective on the importance of Italy in the pandemic

Alexandra I. ASROW 1, 2, 3

1 Section of Emergency Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL, USA; 2 University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA; 3 University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA



The COVID-19 pandemic has touched and affected us all. What started out as an abstract concept busted down our doors and invaded every aspect of daily life seemingly overnight. Healthcare workers have suffered a disproportionate burden, both in numbers who contracted the virus, and secondary effects, particularly in the mental health arena. Despite this, we have continued to work through the difficulties, despite the risks to ourselves. Understanding and processing this after a full year of the pandemic is incredibly difficult, especially considering continued resurgences. We have shared a collective tragedy, unique in our lives, which will continue to affect us forever. Italy was the first highly publicized Western country to be hit fast and hard by the virus. With every move highly publicized in the media, it became an example, and source of research and guidance to the world in the management of the disease and related larger systemic issues. This newfound global spotlight represents a critical opportunity to stress the importance of the specialty, garner respect, and create a better future for Emergency Medicine in Italy. Focusing on education and future generations of doctors is key. It will determine the future of our place in Medicine, and it must be done correctly, and with as much dedication as we have demonstrated during the pandemic. Now, more than ever, we must continue to be an example to the world. From a global catastrophe, once in a lifetime opportunity emerges, and it is our obligation to make the most of it.


KEY WORDS: Emergency medicine; COVID-19; Global health

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