As we continue to stay close to home and keep our social distance, it is easy to get discouraged and feel like this may never end. Although we want to be smart about what is happening and do our best to stay well, it is important to remember that bad news sells. It is easy to be negative.
Let’s take a look at some of the GOOD things that are happening as we, our country, and the world adapt to the current circumstances. Starting with how companies are not only adapting to the hand we have all been dealt, but actually are taking action to help defeat this virus. Here is a partial list taken from the Wall Street Journal article Companies Retool To Fight Disease on Friday, March 20.
1. Christian Dior perfume is quickly switching to manufacturing hand sanitizer.
2. GM and Ford are looking into ways to put their idled factories to work manufacturing medical equipment.
3. Luxury hotels are becoming makeshift quarantine shelters.
4. Earth moving equipment makers are looking at ways to switch their manufacturing to needed ventilators.
5. Tesla is ramping up to make ventilators and air-filter systems.
6. In the UK, dozens of manufacturers are making ventilators and other needed medical equipment. When the UK public health officials announced shortages, over 400 companies stepped up to answer the call.
7. In France, companies that normally produce spirits are now making hand sanitizers. After all, alcohol does kill germs!
8. Companies WORLD WIDE are using 3-D printers (a terrific piece of technology!) to make ventilator parts.
9. Manufactures of Aerospace and military equipment are turning their “spears into ploughshares” by producing a working ventilator by THIS week.
10. Companies that were making jeans and other clothing manufacturers are now producing face masks. This switch occurred in a manner of hours - not days or weeks!
11. Airlines are redirecting fleets to ensure the flow of essential goods.
12. Logistic companies around the globe are coming up with ways to redeploy their workforce's to help determine the best ways for companies to deliver food and medical supplies.
13. THIRTY Big Pharma and small Biotech firms are racing for treatments and vaccines. One particular vaccine was turned out in 42 DAYS compared to the 3 years it took during the SARS virus (see my previous email about our personal experience with SARS back in 2003.)
14. Comcast, Verizon, Sprint, and others are guaranteeing to keep America online for the next two months regardless of who can pay.
15. Adobe and Google are making remote learning tools available for schools, Universities, and parents.
16. U-Haul is offering free self-storage to college kids.
17. Costco, Meijer, Kroger’s, Starbucks, Aldi, and Amazon are hiring. I was told that if someone completes an application today, they can start tomorrow!
18. Restaurants are offering curbside pickup and home delivery. A local restaurant manager said that this has really picked up over the past week as home-bound families are “hungry” for other than boxed or canned food.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. MANY other good things are happening. Just as in past situations or emergencies, people and thus the PRIVATE SECTOR are adaptable. As demand for many products has dropped, this has freed up capacity for industries to quickly adapt and produce medical equipment that is in short supply and creatively find other avenues to keep people employed and drive new revenue.
Warren Buffet wrote a while back that “Every decade or so, dark clouds will fill the Economic skies, and they will briefly rain gold.” This sounds a bit like what we are experiencing now and what MAY lie ahead in the coming months.
We will get through this and likely come out stronger. In the meantime, families will benefit from spending more time together (I suggest checking out Jim Gaffigan and Brian Regan on YouTube!) and new industries will be born out of necessity. Maybe if not turning the “news” off, at least turning it down and remembering “Farr’ Law” (which dates back to the 1840’) can add some needed perspective in the days ahead for you and your family.
While these companies are adapting for the common good, we should remember the small things we can do for our communities and families will make the largest impact. Please let me know if you would like to talk or schedule a Webex meeting. I would love to hear how you and your family are supporting each other, and work with you on any questions you may have during this time.
Take care and have a grateful day.