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Declan Costello,
Editor, ENT & Audiology News;
Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon,
Wexham Park Hospital,
Slough, Berkshire, UK.



Over the last 12 months, we have all been through different phases in our attitude to the coronavirus crisis: from disbelief, we have moved through anxiety, fear and resignation. At this stage, a year into the worldwide pandemic, the prevailing mood is fatigue – both physical and psychological. Frontline staff are exhausted, and for all of us, the lack of contact with friends, family and colleagues is taking its toll. Here at ENT & Audiology News, we are looking forward to a time when we can attend physical meetings again, but that time may be some way off.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have celebrated the resilience and resourcefulness of our colleagues in the ENT and audiology world, and for Mar/Apr 2021 we feature an interview with one of the most high-profile ENT surgeons in the global crisis: Professor Claire Hopkins. She was instrumental in ensuring that anosmia was recognised as a diagnostic marker for the disease. She talks to Sean Carrie about how she achieved this, and about her extensive interactions with the media.

Our ENT Features for March/April focus on ‘Historical Figures in ENT and Audiology’ and have been brought together by Katherine Conroy and our good friend (and former ENT & Audiology News Editor) Ray Clarke. The range of historical figures they discuss is huge and makes for fascinating reading. (see their introduction here).

In our Audiology Features section, Barbara Weinstein (New York) concentrates on ‘Age-related Hearing Loss and Dementia’. This is an immensely important topic, and you can read more about the articles in her introduction.

In a world of online meetings and conferences, one of the highlights in recent months has been BACO – the British Academic Conference in Otolaryngology. The physical meeting was initially scheduled for July 2020, moved to January 2021, and was ultimately hosted as an online event on 10-12 January 2021. The platform was immensely easy to navigate and there was a huge array of speakers and topics. As Emma Stapleton commented on Twitter, the flexibility of the platform meant that it was easy to “wander” from session to session – often listening to talks that one wouldn’t ordinarily attend. Huge congratulations to the BACO team; we look forward to a physical meeting in Birmingham in 2023. The conference is available to watch until June 2021 at

You may want to note that we will be celebrating World Hearing Day on 3 March; look out for our coverage in the May/June edition of ENT & Audiology News.

Finally, for those with literary leanings, our writing competition is open until 1 April 2021. The subject is ‘2020 Unmasked’ and we have some great prizes on offer! 

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Declan Costello

MA, MBBS, FRCS(ORL-HNS), Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, Berkshire, UK

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