As of January 2021, in the United States we are now on month 10 of the COVID-19 pandemic. One year ago, we followed events unfolding in China. One of the first takeaways from the Chinese experience was that this virus was different than the flu were the reports of multiple manifestations of the COVID, including a significant cardiovascular impact in sicker patients. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) quickly put together information from the sources available last February to offer a list of the cardiovascular impacts of COVID. This quickly went from an academic exercise to practical information as COVID cases began to rise in the U.S.
I wrote my first cardiology article on COVID on Feb. 20, 2020, and I thought there might only be a few updates after that. However, COVID rapidly became the No. 1 news topic on DAIC in 2020. DAIC ended up publishing more than 130 articles and 30 videos on COVID this past year.
DAIC’s website has had 600,000 pageviews on its COVID content, and many pieces of COVID content were among the list of most popular in 2020. Here are the Top 25 Stories in Cardiology in 2020, and the Top 25 Cardiology Videos on DAIC in 2020.
A year later, we are still learning a lot about the cardiovascular impacts of the coronavirus and there is rarely a week that goes by where we do not have something to post on COVID. For this reason, DAIC will continue to include cardiovascular specific COVID updates in its issues and online in a dedicated COVID-19 channel page.
With more than 10 million vaccinations having taken place so far as of late January, and a new U.S. administration in place that takes the virus more seriously, I am optimistic for a return to “normal.” That may happen possibly later this year or in early 2022. COVID has forced medicine to rethink how it does things this past year, and it now presents a major opportunity to improve and modernize things moving into the future. This new normal will likely include a permanent use of telemedicine as a component of care, as will technologies to allow us to collaborate remotely, increased use of remote cardiac monitoring and new ways to streamlining care will be with us long after COVID subsides.
One of the biggest stories on COVID to watch in 2021 is if there are any long-term cardiac related impacts of COVID. After months of treating COVID patients, it became evident that some have lingering effects from the virus weeks or months after the initial infection is gone. Since it is known that COVID can kill cardiomyocytes and cause myocarditis in very sick patients, these COVID long-haulers are now being monitored for any lasting impact.
Read more in the January 2021 article The Long-term Cardiovascular Impact of COVID-19.