by David Denor
It is hard to believe that it’s the one-year anniversary of the pandemic. My staff — like many — has been working remotely for the past 12 months (which is still hard to imagine) and will continue to do so for at least a few more months.
Under normal conditions, my travel schedule would be booked with business appointments and events and conferences around the state. We are still as busy as ever — it’s just a different kind of busy. Client meetings continue — just in a different manner. Like many businesses today, most of our interactions are virtual, which has its advantages. But there is no denying the value of face-to-face meetings, which many of us miss.
I know there may be some trepidation about what lies ahead. There are still many unknowns: How well the vaccination process will go, whether COVID cases will decline, what the new administration in Washington will bring and what all that means for the economy and businesses, not to mention the mental health of all who have endured the pandemic. However, I strongly believe that the year ahead will bring growth and success for many of us.
Speaking of resiliency, Mike Vogel’s cover story looks at whether a plan that Congress approved 20 years ago is actually making progress at replumbing the Everglades in the face of new challenges. Find out what sort of engineered ecosystem we are likely to end up with.
Amy Keller’s story about artificial intelligence is definitely worth paying attention to. AI is making many businesses smarter and more efficient. The feature also includes a list of Florida colleges and universities offering cybersecurity and AI degree programs.
Also, you will not want to miss this month’s Economic Backbone section, about new developments in cardiac care around the state. We look at the unknown effects COVID could have on the heart, the latest advancements in heart transplants and new tools that make more heart transplants possible. You will also learn about new clinical trials and procedures in Florida for patients with atrial fibrillation, including one method that could replace a lifetime of medications for some.
At this one-year anniversary of the COVID pandemic, we should all take a moment to reflect on the extraordinary year that we faced, those we’ve lost, the challenges we’ve overcome and the lessons we learned — and not lose sight of the strength and motivation that keeps us moving forward.
— David Denor, Publisher
Read more in Florida Trend's February issue.
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