The COVID-19 pandemic has upset the world’s health and economy and, within a couple of weeks, its devastating potential impact has blown booming economic projections out of the water, turning energies to our families’ health and even survival.
The sharp change certainly has hit home to me. In late January, I joined my wife on a long-planned month-long Pacific Ocean cruise, culminating with a few weeks in Australia and New Zealand. Heeding warnings about serious bush fires in Australia, before travelling, we visited an industrial supply store and purchased a few boxes of N-95 masks.
By the time our boat docked in Auckland, New Zealand, word had begun to spread about the COVID-19 virus, with special concerns about cruise ships. We weren’t worried – our ship had left Los Angeles, not Hong Kong, and the specialty cruise line (Crystal Cruises) has exceptionally high sanitation standards even in normal conditions. (We could see crew cleaning surfaces several times a day, as part of normal procedures).
How things can change. Stories about the first live virus cases in Australia began appearing in the local press, as our N-95 masks remained in the suitcases – the bush fires had ended some weeks previously, with plenty of rain.
A few days after we returned home, word about the virus’s North American propagation in began blowing through our society, and within days, the new “social distancing” rules became the rule as increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases were reported.
It is hard to say how this will end, and the special stories in this issue of North Carolina Construction News may be at least partially outdated by the time you read this message. We’ll update the news on our website and weekly ncconstructionnews.com newsletter. In the meantime, you can gain some perspectives on the virus developments, as you read about the multi-billion dollar rebuilding opportunities from a previous natural disaster, Hurricane Florence.
In the meantime, if you have stories, experiences or questions, please email and I’ll do my best to answer your question or direct you to solutions.
Mark Buckshon co-ordinates New York Construction Report, and he can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.