Back at my desk.
As I write this, my colleagues and I have returned to the office—hybrid-style—after nearly two years of working remotely. It's strange, and not just because I must once again dress in grown-up clothes. Outside of Zoom videoconferencing, I hadn't seen many of my co-workers in well over a year, and some new ones I'd never met in person. The reunion was both thrilling and emotional. Some of us joked about having forgotten how to pack lunch. One new colleague stood up to declare that, yes, this is what she looks like outside of a computer screen.
We laughed. Then got back to work. My admiration for this crew of writers, editors, designers, web developers, and videographers has only grown during the past year. The pandemic forced us to adopt new ways of communicating with each other and the people we write about, while continuing to put out timely content, like this magazine.
My thoughts then turned to the frontline workers at Johns Hopkins who never stopped coming into the office. The nurses, doctors, therapists, and others who continue to grapple with some of the greatest challenges of their careers: treating a novel virus as its delta variant surges; dealing with the loss of patients, colleagues, and even family members; and facing the consequences of stress and burnout. At the Johns Hopkins Health System, leadership put together a support group of peers and social workers trained to talk with struggling employees and guide them to the help they need.
So, am I happy we're back? Yes. But I don't want to forget those who never left.
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