Covering COVID-19 in 2021

Dec 29, 2021 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (1)

As 2021 comes to a close, the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast looks back at the impact of COVID-19 over the past year.

"I think the thing that I look back on is the amazing speed with which science moved," says Dr. Gregory Poland, head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "When this all began in 2020, COVID-19 was absolutely blank slate. Now we have three vaccines in the U.S., and antiviral and monoclonal antibody treatments. That's really incredible."

Despite the rapid scientific advancements, the U.S. still reached a grim milestone of 800,000 deaths from COVID-19 and more people died of the disease in 2021 than in 2020.

COVID-19 has affected all aspects of life including the way people live, work, and go to school.

"It has been a profound wake-up call. I think we've developed an awareness of how fragile life and human health is. I think good things will come out of this," reflects Dr. Poland.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland joins host Dr. Halena Gazelka, a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist, for a COVID-19 pandemic year in review.

To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Read the full transcript.

Research disclosures for Dr. Gregory Poland.

Connect with others talking about the pandemic and supporting one another in the COVID-19 support group.

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Podcasts blog.

Just a note from Gift of Life Transplant House. This is Mary Wilder. I faithfully watch the podcasts and they have been so helpful in assisting us in keeping our guests safe and healthy! Omicron has been a particular concern for us as it has for all, but the partnership of Mayo Clinic and this podcast have been invaluable. Thank you!

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