By Larry Borowsky
Welcome to 2021. And not a moment too soon. We hope you made it through 2020 in good health and with minimal disturbance. It was a tough year, but also an instructive one.
From the COVID pandemic to the fires that swept across our cities, forests, and politics, the last 12 months forced everyone to exercise a skill that’s second nature to most amputees: adaptation.
All of us—old and young, rich and poor, able-bodied and other-abled—had to let go of familiar habits and invent new ways of doing old things. Some people embraced this project with resolve, others with reluctance. But among amputees, nearly everyone we talked to made the adjustments in stride. You’ve faced bigger challenges.
You also know from experience that disruption often leads to discovery, and instability can spark inspiration.
That’s one of the stories we’re addressing in our first issue of 2021: the doors of opportunity that got jarred open for amputees because of 2020’s volatility. Our lead feature explores eight trends that got started or accelerated in 2020, and which promise to change amputees’ lives for the better.
Social distance gave rise to some great new models for community building that seem destined to bring people closer together over the long run. The work-from-home revolution popularized career alternatives that disabled professionals have been pushing for years. Prosthetists expanded their range of options for delivering care, while event organizers managed to stage virtual competitions, concerts, conferences, and celebrations—often with record-setting levels of participation.
If you’ve glanced at the photo at the top of this column, you’ve noticed there’s change afoot at Amplitude, too. Rick Bowers, the magazine’s managing editor since we launched back in 2015, is stepping aside, and I’m shifting over from the digital desk (where I spent all of 2020) to become Amplitude’s new editor in chief. I don’t have the same depth of experience with limb loss as Rick, whose relationships in the community go back 20 years. But I’m committed to matching his passion for sharing your stories and giving voice to your concerns.
And, true to the spirit of 2020, I’m looking for new ways to do old things—adaptations that can make Amplitude a more informative, entertaining, and useful resource for you. I learned a ton last year while generating content for Amplitude’s website and our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. But that was just scratching the surface. I want and need to hear more of your voices.
You can talk to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post a message or comment at one of the social channels. Let me know what you’d like to see in Amplitude in 2021, and how we can do a better job of building our community. Lines are open, our audience is growing, and the prospects for people with limb loss have never been brighter.
IMAGE: Larry Borowsky