- Kenny Lin, MD, MPH
Unsurprisingly, 7 of our 10 most-viewed blog posts from this pandemic year were related to COVID-19. Beginning in February, when I wrote with concern about initial reports of a novel coronavirus that was rapidly spreading from its original epicenter in Wuhan, China, the pandemic accelerated, transmitting exponentially across the United States by mid-March and causing state governments to close schools and non-essential businesses. In addition to the worldwide death toll (which, per the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, stood at nearly 1.8 million as of today), we forecasted the staggering mental health impacts of the virus and prolonged economic disruption and social isolation.
Contributing editor Allen Shaughnessy, PharmD and his colleague Dr. Andrea Gordon provided ten points to consider when applying evidence-based medicine in a pandemic. Dr. Middleton described one of the more unusual manifestations of COVID-19 infection, "COVID toes," and our 2019-20 Resident Representative, Dr. Enkhee Tuvshintogs, discussed how medical students were adapting to disruptions in their educational programs and personal lives. Finally, we reviewed fraudulent COVID-19 research publications and the summer of #BlackLivesMatter protests against police violence and the persistence of structural racism that produced, among other things, vast disparities in coronavirus infections and mortality among African Americans.
Of course, 2020 included other important medical stories. Personally, we mourned the passing of AFP executive editor Joyce Merriman, who capably led our professional editor team for 15 years. Two past AFP Podcast co-hosts reviewed 9 other highly ranked podcasts for family physicians for medical education or moving health narratives. And Dr. Middleton argued that the results of a recent randomized controlled trial could mean that intermittent fasting's time in the popular diet limelight may be up.
All of us at American Family Physician hope that you and your loved ones are having an enjoyable holiday season, and we look forward to 2021 being a less unprecedented and more optimistic year.