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Letter from the Editor: A New Dawn

By: Scott St. John

I may be premature, but I’m calling the end of the COVID crisis. Maybe not right now, but soon. However, I respectively request to reserve the right to change my opinion in the coming months.

You probably have read the never-ending headlines related to the increased case counts, booms of infection in regional areas, and the relentless tenacity of the disease. But there is more to the story.

Perhaps you’ve also seen spurts of news on the success of early-stage vaccine trials from companies like AstraZeneca-Oxford, Moderna, and Pfizer. You may have even heard a few stories on how the use of generic steroids, donor blood plasma, or immunosuppressants – such as Remdesivir from Gilead – are being used as viable treatments for COVID-19. But, what you’re probably not hearing about is how the rate of mortality has been falling. And by falling, I mean dramatically, to around 1%.

The fact is we now better understand this novel coronavirus, and how to treat it, from the use of pharmaceutical therapies to prophylactic measures to stop the spread of the disease, such as increasing hygiene and hand-washing, wearing of n95 masks, social distancing and limiting public exposure.  There are still reasons to be concerned and adhere to preventative public-safety measures, such as some preliminary data around the possibility of reinfection and potential lack of long-term immunity.  It’s not over yet, by any means, and COVID-19 will be around for a long time to come. But, the nexus points of these things – better prevention, better treatment and the development of a vaccine – hold great promise. A new dawn is breaking and it wouldn’t have been possible without the innovation and tools we now have at our disposal.

Prior to COVID-19, the earliest vaccine was viable in a matter of years. Due to the advancements of both genetic medicine and advanced analytics, there are three COVID-19 vaccine candidates in final-phase, human-clinical trials already–now–with estimates for emergency-use authorization coming as early as this fall. The gravity of this cannot be understated. We are overcoming a global pandemic on a scale that has historically ended in the tragic loss of an estimated hundred million lives, equating to about one twentieth of the world’s population at the time, using technology that has never before existed.

The wide-spread damage and loss related to COVID-19 are terribly tragic. But the impact it has had and lessons that can be learned from this event and our unprecedented response cannot go unheard. Which is one of the many reasons why this issue of Pipeline is so relevant.

In this issue of Pipeline, the Big Data Exchange shows us how AI is being deployed in APAC, including to combat COVID-19 at its epicenter, and how it can be used to bridge us to the future. Involta explores Big Data in the post-COVID era and how it is being applied and can be used to help control the spread of the disease. The OpenStack Foundation discusses the evolution of tools and technology, and how open edge computing can usher in future architectures. We hear from Neural Technologies on leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to create and harness the power of data intelligence. LightRiver shows us how programmable networking methodologies can be used to improve CX. Evolving Systems explores the future of telecom services and the need for CSPs to evolve. We also spotlight TCG, who is defining and promoting the adoption of IoT and connected-device security standards. Scalable Networks shows us how 5G creates security vulnerabilities and how network analytics can help model and remediate attack scenarios, and df2020 explores how AI can help mitigate the risk of regulatory compliance related to the use of data. All this plus the latest enterprise and telecom technology news, and more.

Stay well,

Scott St. John
Managing Editor
Pipeline
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