An Issue About COVID-19

Contagion, Contagion, May 2022 (Vol. 07, No. 2),

As we recently surpassed the 2-year mark of the pandemic, the May issue reflects on lessons learned thus far.

I just had the refreshing experience of my first in-person infectious diseases meeting since 2019. It was wonderful catching up with colleagues and friends that I haven’t seen in years, but it was also nice to talk infectious disease outside of COVID-19.

Well, I’m afraid that this edition of Contagion® is dedicated to just that. We are marking over 2 years since the disease began its domination of our lives, inboxes, and literature. Each Contagion® section is dedicated to this topic.

In Acute Infections, Maureen McElligott, MD; Alice Gallo de Moraes, MD; and Kelly Cawcutt, MD, describe the complex issues that sepsis in patients with COVID-19 represents. Although much has been learned about this issue, complications with antibiotic use, infection control, and appropriate use and interpretation of laboratory results remain issues that clinicians in the intensive care uni t confront.

In Multidrug-Resistant Infections, Eli Goshorn, MD, describes the continued issue of multidrug-resistant organisms in patients with COVID-19 and the often-contrary literature around the topic.

For HIV, Jina Saltzman, PA-C; Caroline Teter, PA-C; Renslow Sherer, MD; and David Pitrak, MD, write an intriguing comparison of what HIV teaches us about COVID-19. I believe you will enjoy the perspective they bring, using a retrospective lens to remind us of history’s lessons and how they inform the future. I appreciate this—as the need to learn and take notes during the beginning of the pandemic was the first editor-in-chief column that I wrote about COVID-19.

In Antimicrobial Stewardship and Prevention, Anna Zhou, PharmD, BCIDP; Richelle L. Guerrero-Wooley, MD; and Karen Tan, PharmD, describe the multitude of impacts that COVID-19 has had on antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASP). They take us through both the obvious (burnout) and subtle (multidisciplinary collaboration) effects resulting from working on the pandemic together. If anyone has the bandwidth to conduct a before-and-after survey of what ASPs look like after the peak phases of the pandemic pass, it could be revealing.

In Emerging and Re-emerging Infections, Jessica Malaty Rivera, MS, and Katrine Wallace, PhD, discuss mandatory vaccine policies for students. This topic may heat up in the future as vaccines hopefully become available for young children soon and as emergency use authorizations for other age groups become full approvals.

Finally, for News and Breakthroughs, I wrote about the experience of developing treatment guidelines for COVID-19 “on the fly.” This piece covers not only how it was (and is) done, but also how to read and use the guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America by hopefully providing a translation from “guideline-es e” to English.