Welcome folks! Normally, our December newsletter is a summary of the year, the ISN highlights. Yes, we are that original, nobody else does that in December! Now another year is nearly over. One that actually does not need a summary, not because nothing happened, but because most people might not feel the need to go through it all again. So what else could we do?

We can thank people. We can thank our members for keeping their membership (and encourage you to renew for 2021), for reading our articles, engaging with our social media, checking our website. We have to thank those people who have worked uncountable more hours than usual to develop vaccines, care for patients, deliver food and goods, juggled taking care of kids at home whilst working at the same time. The situation we are all in might still not be great, but we really do not want to imagine what it would be like without these people.

We can think of those who went through life-changing movements this year and couldn’t celebrate them as they would normally have done. Maybe you finished your PhD, started your postdoc or started studying. A first-year at university in 2020 must be different from what everybody else had. It is probably not much comfort, but at least you saved money that you would have normally spent at the local nightlife? You deserve to go out and celebrate with your friends and family, make new friends and do all the things the older generations regret but silently cherish. Even if all these parties are yet to come, not even CoVid-19 should prevent you from being proud of yourself and your achievements. Whether it is a start or an end, you most likely did not get there by accident!

We can look at the positive side. This is sometimes much easier said than done and very subjective. For some of us, the positive aspect this year might simply be that 2020 is coming to an end. Others might have learned to appreciate a bit more the simple things in life, like being healthy, having a home, your support bubble or your local green park.

We can plan. Or would you rather not? With all the promising advances in vaccine development, CoVid-19 is not just going to make a move on New Year‘s Eve and we will definitely still face contact and travel restrictions next year, so it`s understandable if your concern of having to cancel more events is bigger than your desire to plan any. However, at least this time, it does not come out of the blue. We have learned or are learning how to deal with it and still make use of your time and to do so it is good to put achievable things in the calendar. Have you checked if your local university or collaborating institutes all over the world offer any courses, you might be interested in and that could give you extra qualifications? Maybe just small events, like a regular call to friends and family.

We are currently working on more news and exciting new events happening at ISN, but more to that in our next newsletter article, so stay tuned!

Merry, healthy (not food-related, go and eat whatever you like, its Christmas!) holidays everyone and “see” you in 2021!