July 31, 2020

COVID-19: Disappointing Effect on Travel Plans

by Vani Vijayakumar, MD

Vani Vijayakumar, MDI had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Brazil for the JPR RSNA 2020 Conference from April 29–May 3, 2020. I was selected by the RSNA to be the moderator and one of the speakers on nuclear medicine at this conference. I was also given the opportunity to select another well-known nuclear medicine speaker to represent the United States.

I was very excited and honored to do this challenging task, unprecedented for an international meeting. I communicated with local moderators and prepared well for my presentation and travel logistics to Brazil.

At this stage of my career, I was astonished at being chosen by a great national organization like the RSNA to represent at an international meeting. But all my excitement vanished as I received an email on March 19 from the organizers that the meeting was cancelled due to COVID- 19.

I realized that one’s health is more important than excitement. Also due to my age (older than 65) and the CDC guidelines and recommendations, I knew it was better to be safe than sorry. I will have another opportunity next year, provided no other pandemic occurs. In the meantime, I will try to be happy and healthy, staying far away from COVID-19.