The COVID-19 outbreak, exploded in Italy at the end of February 2020 and the subsequent quarantine lasted unevenly until mid-May 2020, forced everyone at home and blocked virtually all non-essential work activities. Therefore, both national and international meetings and conventions have been canceled and moved some at the end of the year, others even to 2021. Also the joint AIM/ASNP conference, to be held in Matera from 3 to 7 June 2020, was moved to December 2020, from 2 to 6. The program is being re-evaluated.
The 14th Meeting of the Mediterranean Society of Myology (MSM) the meeting is moved to spring 2021. Proposals to organize and host the event are welcome.
Below is the email communication received on 29/05/2020 from the Executive Board of the Society regarding the 25th Congress of the WMS.
“A decision has now been reached regarding the WMS 2020 Congress in Halifax, Canada, due to take place 30th September – 4th October 2020.
The COVID-19 situation has shown no sign of making the short/medium and longer-term future for events any clearer than it was a month ago and the Executive Board has therefore decided that we will proceed with a virtual congress, in this its 25th year, and plan to resume our face to face meeting next year with the 2021 congress in Prague, Czech Republic and then 2022 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
A decision based on facts we want to make it very clear that we have made this decision based purely on the facts as we know them today and, importantly for the whole WMS team, based on the responsibility and genuine care we feel for all our members, and the neuromuscular community. We have tried today to take the best decision for the Society, and we are so thankful for the support that has already been shown to us. We have thought long and hard in the past few weeks, consulting in depth with partners and stakeholders before making this announcement.
So, please keep the dates 30th September – 2nd October 2020 firmly in your diary as the WMS Virtual Congress, then watch this space for more updates as the programme, and the way in which we will connect and learn as a community for this year, is revealed. In fact the virtual platform for this year actually provides more opportunities for discussion.
Committed to serving our members We want you to know that we are fully committed to rearranging the meetings for next year and beyond with this year being a new and exciting experience for us all.
We will make the virtual 2020 congress free to attend so that as many of our members who might not have been able to travel to Canada this year as possible can join the WMS spirit of Education, Enjoyment and Excitement!
We will be in contact with all registered delegates, presenters, sponsors and exhibitors in the coming days to discuss refunds and transfer of registration/presentation to the virtual event etc. and anticipate they will all be processed within 30 days. Abstract notifications will be sent out next week and we hope to have the full virtual programme available on the congress website in July. Accepted abstracts will still be published in the journal this year. Late breaking abstract submission will open as usual.
For more information please contact Clare Beach, WMS Secretariat and 2020 Congress Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.wms2020.com
The WMS continue to add valuable information about COVID-19 and people with neuromuscular disorders: World Muscle Society position and advice to the website: https://www.worldmusclesociety.org/news/view/150
Once again, we thank all the attendees and our members for the support that has been shown to us and we are here to support others in the field as we all work through these difficult times”.
The WMS Executive Board