Update on AIABPM and the COVID-19 pandemic
I share your concerns about the rapid rise in cases due to the omicron variant. I will not conduct a live meeting if it is not safe for every attendee, speaker and exhibitor. Here are several reasons why I think the live meeting will occur as scheduled, and what we plan to do in the event it does not:
- My heart goes out to all of my anesthesiology colleagues, first responders and all other healthcare workers who are already overworked and now facing another crisis. If my epidemiology colleagues in Tampa are correct, this variant will move through the US population quickly and we will be on the back side of this surge by the time AIABPM 2022 rolls around in March.
- The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has a comprehensive health and sanitation plan in place, and the conference is scheduled in several large meeting rooms that allow for adequate social distancing.
- I am confident that both the attendees and the exhibitors who come to this event are medically savvy, and that the vast majority of people present will be fully vaccinated.
- We are looking at an app-based check-in process similar to the one used by the American Society of Anesthesiologists meeting in San Diego this past Fall.
- We stand ready to pivot to a fully virtual event if it does not appear safe to conduct the event live. In the event of a switch to virtual, we will offer every attendee and exhibitor their choice of a full refund or admission to the online event. A virtual event will cost only half what a live one does, so those choosing this option will get a partial refund.
Live or virtual, this show will go on!
Peter Wu, MD MBA FASA
Executive Conference Director