“It was February 21st when we understood that COVID-19 was not a problem restricted to China, but was becoming a concern for all of us. I had spent that day in an ESHRE Executive Committee meeting in London, making, among other matters, plans for our Annual Meeting in Copenhagen. After landing in Bologna and driving home, I heard from the news that there was an outburst of SARS-CoV-2 in the north of Italy. Week after week the number of cases grew exponentially and spread throughout Europe, and I had to face this hard reality, not only as a reproductive health professional, but also as Chair of ESHRE. We had to cancel our internal meetings, the campus workshops and the training courses that were already programmed, and (the most difficult decision) the Annual Meeting. A year without the Annual Meeting… has never happened in the ESHRE history! It was impossible to accept this defeat passively, so we reacted and decided to go for a virtual Annual Meeting. A great challenge, a lot of uncertainties, but we are happy that we took this decision. I know now it was the right one. A connection through the cyberspace will not undermine our capacity ofcommunication, because this is what ESHRE is, a big community where everybody wants to learn, to exchange experiences and to network in that spirit of sharing that is typical of us, the people of ESHRE.”

Maria Cristina Magli, Chair of ESHRE, Italy