The End of the Beginning

Published 30 June 2020

From its inception, TJTO&C was designed to be a rapid forum for ideas that could be expressed in the changing environment that accompanied the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was intended to provide an opportunity to share these ideas and rehearse controversial opinions with rapid access to on-line publication, which would be unavailable in conventional journals. The large number of excellent articles that have been submitted and encouraging user statistics suggest that this is a useful resource.

We have shared essays outlining personal experiences, opinion pieces about our roles, advice on coping strategies and new approaches to contend with the crisis as it unfolded.

Current metrics suggest that the initial wave may be passing and we are now entering a new phase in this disease but it is not yet possible to predict the future beyond wild speculation. It is therefore perhaps time for a change in emphasis in our thinking, outlook and the continuing role of this journal.
Rather than encouraging more descriptions of ‘what we did’, which were of enormous benefit as the global implications of COVID-19 unfolded, it is now time to consider articles that predict the characteristics of ‘new normal’ and publicise plans to contend with the inevitable changes that are very likely to follow. We therefore encourage you to send us copy reporting ideas about the mechanism and practical difficulties required to return to non-urgent practice, strategies to overcome these challenges and the potential effect on patient care with the attendant ethical and moral imperatives.

We are also planning to change the name of the journal to reflect the changing paradigm and carry TJTO&C into the established publication landscape. We welcome suggestions for an appropriate title and advice on the direction of travel that would be of value to the orthopod on the Clapham omnibus.

In parallel with COVID-19, there are other rapidly evolving societal changes that demand an uncomfortable and far-reaching examination of cultural norms. This ties in with the BOA diversity initiative and we see the potential for using a journal of this type as a vehicle for expressing opinions on this and other contemporary topics.

Irrespective of the issues that have recently been raised about his world view, WSC is undoubtedly a tremendous source of quotations and the following is perhaps particularly germane;

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Fergal Monsell