SER President’s Message

Dear colleagues,

I’m writing this from my home office, with two dogs at my side and a well-worn path to the kitchen. I’m lucky to have space for an impromptu home office, an empty nest, strong internet connectivity, and a full refrigerator.  My heart goes out to health care workers who must leave home and family to serve the greater good, to the many folks whose livelihoods have dwindled or even vanished, and to those whose health is affected by COVID-19 directly or indirectly.  Based on the topics of abstract submissions to SER, I think most of us are not infectious disease epidemiologists and not tasked with measuring, estimating, and predicting the spread of this pandemic. Along with the rest of the world, we watch and wait with the anxiety that comes along with uncertainty.  One thing we can be thankful for is our understanding of the basics – the difference between new cases and total cases, that numerators need denominators to assess risks, that interventions at the population level are necessary to protect risks at the individual level.  This might seem trivial, but I think it’s fair to say that many people’s anxieties are exacerbated by misinformation or general confusion. Let’s not take for granted our epidemiology skills, even if we’re not on the frontlines.

With the pandemic evolving as I write, what we know about COVID-19 at present will likely be different by the time you read this. One thing I can state with confidence is that SER2020 will not happen in June.  Our new dates are Tuesday December 15 to Friday December 18 but the venue remains the same – Sheraton Boston Hotel.  Instead of the long, warm days of Boston in June, we’ll have the crisp days and lit-up evenings of Boston in December. You can look forward to the same outstanding content – workshops, symposia, plenary talks, oral abstract sessions, posters, professional development sessions, and awards. Instead of the fun run, maybe we can have a speed-skating race at Frog Pond on Boston Common?

While we re-arrange the logistics of SER2020, SER activities continue:

Coronavirus podcast, the third so far, is currently being published via Epidemiology Counts

On Wednesday April 15th  SER Journal Club (an SER – SPER collaboration) hosts Dr. Jason Salemi, author of  ‘Estimating the obstetric co‐morbidity burden using administrative data: The impact of the pregnancy‐related assessment window’

Erin Bowles has a Twitter Takeover on Wednesday April 22nd

On Wednesday April 29th a joint SER – IAPHS webinar takes place “Intersections Between Econometric and Epidemiologic Methods for Assessing Impact of Policies and Interventions on Population Health”

SPC has its 3rd webinar on Grant Writing, highlighting some non-traditional funding opportunities

We are committed to continuing to offer opportunities for learning and disseminating epidemiology through a range of platforms.  Our plan is to roll out innovative internet-based sessions over the summer – stay tuned!

In the meantime, my best wishes for patience and perseverance, and for health and safety of you and your loved ones.

Martha