Dear all of our friends and distinguished guests,
It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the 21st JCR conference in Busan.
Although many of you could not make it here in person due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we greatly appreciate your continued support. To our friends in the US, Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, and several European countries, we would like to thank you for your efforts to join us remotely.
Despite the disruptions that the pandemic has caused, I believe that the medical community, which includes all of us here today, has a very important role to play - in leading by example. Although many of us are on the frontline of healthcare, and we have seen the huge impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives, it is up to us to try and do the best we can in these extremely challenging circumstances. Medical research and the progress of healthcare must continue, regardless of the difficulties.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has also provided us with a valuable opportunity to reflect on the many positive aspects in life that remain. We are truly living in the digital era, and like many of you, I have been surprised to see how effectively our international conferences and meetings have been replaced with streaming video technology. It is still not quite as good as meeting in person, but it is certainly improving, and I look forward to seeing how our new digital version of JCR will run.
Another positive aspect to emerge from this pandemic is the amount of support we have received from our international guests and speakers this year, who although unable to travel to Busan, have enthusiastically chosen to participate nonetheless. For this reason, I would like to give an extra big thanks to all of our honored guests who are attending this year. It is my hope that our program this year is as engaging and helpful as previous years.
Together I am sure that the global community will soon overcome this pandemic, and we will return to our normal routines with newfound wisdom and appreciation.