For many of us, our days have been consumed with issues pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coronavirus has made its mark on the four corners of the globe, having not only an impact to health and wellbeing, but also to the economy and commerce.
The responses from governmental agencies are varied, ranging from “Stay in Place” and self-confinement orders to the closing of public gathering places. The term “Social Distancing” has entered our vocabulary and much of the world has gone virtual.
Likewise, the industry’s response to the pandemic is just as varied, ranging from temporary closures and furloughs to “business as usual”. As is the case for many nations, the investment casting industry has been deemed an “Essential Business”, raising the question for our industry leaders: “Do I temporarily close the plant to protect the workforce, or do we remain open to meet critical needs?” When standing at the crossroads of commerce and safeguarding the health of our greatest assets, our people, this is not an easy question to answer.
As a result, many of our colleagues now find themselves in the virtual workplace for the first time. Not only are they contending with the risk of exposure to themselves and their loved ones, but to further complicate matters, those working from home are subject to other distractions from which they are isolated in their normal places of business. One such distraction is parental responsibilities, as school closures have resulted in the virtual classroom becoming commonplace almost overnight.
There are many other challenges being brought to our attention, and rather than telling you about them as a third party, we thought it appropriate that you learn of the challenges and accomplishments taking place in our industry first hand, in the voice of our Members.
In this issue of INCAST Magazine, we address the growing pandemic and its implications. To do so, we have asked our Members for their input, describing how they have been affected on both a professional and a personal basis. We also asked their opinion as to whether they believe that any long-term good will arise from the actions taken by our leadership. These responses are shared in our feature article: “Pandemic 2020: In the Words of our Members” and the article “Beyond the sanitary crisis”
If you have something to add to what we are presenting this month, I encourage you to share your thoughts via email with INCAST Editor, Erin Almaleh or Carlos Olabe for Europe. Though we are hopeful that the current situation will resolve itself in the near term, it is unlikely that will happen. For this reason, we will be sharing your further thoughts on the topic in the May issue.
Though these are challenging days, it is in times like these that offer us the opportunity to be our best selves. We care more dearly for our loved ones, we check in on the elderly in our neighborhoods and we pull together as an industry to help each other. It is our earnest wish that all of us show our best selves.
Please be responsible in your interactions with others, safeguarding your health and theirs by practicing social distancing, wash your hands often and self-quarantine if possible.
Joseph E. Fritz and Carlos Olabe