March 2021

President's Message

Muharrem Yazici, MD
SRS President 2020-2021

We are going through very special and tough days. None of us have had a similar experience in our lifetime. Coronavirus can be compared to the Spanish flu in terms of microbiological features, transmission rate, and fatality. But today’s world is very different from that of the 20th century. There is a very tight connection between 7.8 billion people and a mutation that occurs in South Africa can be seen in a corner of Asia within 2-3 days. The British mutation can affect a Latin American country more than the United Kingdom. That is why we have been locked in our homes for over a year, trying to minimize our contact with other people.

This compulsory isolation caused people to turn inside themselves, remember their long-neglected efforts, look at their homes and lives with a more critical eye and make important revisions. For the first time in years irregular record collections, book shelves, and drawers were organized. More time was allocated to learn new skills and increased physical distance encouraged increased virtual proximity.

As a matter of fact, institutions are not that different from people. The pandemic provided an opportunity for a deeper evaluation of the issues that were ignored in the daily rush and remained unevaluated. The restriction of outdoor activities increased the intensity and quality of indoor activities. What was initially seen as a negative situation actually created new opportunities. As SRS, we worked very hard during the time we spent at home with the homework given at the Strategic Planning Meeting we held on the days when COVID was not yet transformed into a pandemic. We reviewed our organizational structure with a critical eye. To resolve the diversities between our members, we are trying to develop more inclusive mechanisms for members of different age and educational backgrounds. We made very important decisions to develop a blended model by making full use of modern educational tools. We will share concrete developments regarding these decisions, starting with this newsletter.

The pandemic will end someday. But that day, the world will be a different world than before. SRS has worked hard and is working hard to adapt itself to the conditions of this “New World”. Until the days when we can meet again (we really want this to happen in St. Louis), I express my deepest regards, hoping to continue stronger from where we left off.