It’s hard these days to not be consumed by news reports, daily policy changes, and new findings about COVID-19. News of the virus has completely consumed US and global attention, and the spread of the virus has dramatically changed the daily life of our nation. In a country where widespread shutdowns seemed almost unfathomable a month ago, now many non-essential businesses are shuttering doors, workers are connecting from home offices or bedrooms, and others in our healthcare professions, grocery stores, and delivery services find themselves doubling their work hours.
But amongst all the chaos, I have found the reaction by the industrial sector heartwarming, encouraging and representative of the best qualities of the great American spirit. In less than one weeks’ time, companies have rallied to double (or more) production as people flock to the grocery stores to purchase paper goods, food, and basic household necessities. This incredible feat is all being powered by operators, maintenance personnel, purchasers, plant managers, and their teams. While a percentage of the US population will contract the COVID-19 virus, all our population is depending on these critical manufacturers to provide basic household goods to get us through this pandemic. I am humbled by their service to the American people and hope we can all echo our appreciation to these often-overlooked workers.
I’ve also been encouraged by companies such as Ford, 3M and GE partnering to quickly redesign automotive parts into respirators and ventilators to help our healthcare force and those most critically affected by the virus. Distilleries such as Old Fourth Ward Distillery in Atlanta have changed their production to make hand sanitizer and are giving it to the local homeless community to help protect a people with very little resources. These companies are united around helping their fellow neighbors in need.
Lastly, at my own company, RS Industrial, where we provide adhesives and tapes to many of these manufacturing plants, there’s been a shift in the way I view what we do. When you tell people, “I work in glue for a living,” the response is typically a confused sideways glance. A moment like this has shown me just how much of an impact we too have on all these manufacturers trying their hardest to ease the impact of COVID-19. I’m awed by my team’s commitment and thank them from the bottom of my heart for all they do. I know our business doesn’t typically come with hordes of glamour or widespread appreciation but thank you for all you do to support these critical businesses whether they are feeding our families or tending to them in a hospital.