In March 2020 none of us could have accurately foreseen what would unfold over the next few years. Looking back, the closest thing we could identify was the post-World War I influenza pandemic. And, that was over a century earlier.

The 1918-19 influenza pandemic saw hundreds of millions of people infected and somewhere between 17 million and 100 million deaths. The figures are a bit rubbery and difficult to confirm. In Australia, the death figure sits at around 12,000 people. But, more than the deaths, that pandemic was a major global tragedy which strongly impacted generations to come. Not exactly a comforting thought.

There had been plenty of epidemics in the intervening years, and even a few that looked like they could go global. But nothing ever hit the scale of the influenza pandemic.

We know the last three years have been filled with significant professional challenges and changes for anaesthetists and pain medicine specialists. We want to hear all about it.

When researching the past, it’s a genuinely exciting moment to come across records which explain what a situation meant to the people who experienced it. Often this takes the form of letters or journal entries but in the 21st Century, those things don’t often exist. So, how will future researchers make sense of Covid-19 for the people living and working through that time?

A refurbished 1950s Bondwood caravan is parked by Sydney Harbour. The bridge span is visible overhead and the Sydney Opera House can be seen in the background.

Matilda the mobile recording studio


We’re bringing Matilda to the Sydney ASM. Matilda is a refurbished 1950s Bondwood caravan, now working as a mobile sound recording booth. Matilda will be parked in the exhibition hall, near the ANZCA lounge. She’s glorious and she’ll be hard to miss. We’ll be recording short oral histories all throughout the meeting, starting on Saturday 6 May. We’ll be adding your stories to our growing oral history collection.

If you’re coming along to #ASM23SYD we hope you’ll take some time to chat with us about how Covid-19 has impacted, and probably continues to impact, your life. The future needs to hear from you.