Chairman’s Blog, Mar/April 2020

The Elephant on the Globe…

 As I sat down to pen this installment of the newsletter I struggled to keep the COVID-19 pandemic from consuming all the headlines.  Easier said than done…

It occurred to me that when I wrote the last newsletter the spread of COVID was on the rise, but had not yet been declared a pandemic and we were not living under “safer at home” mandates.  How the world changed in the blink of an eye.  

Is there a silver lining somewhere in these tragic events?  Perhaps a bit of dark humor, but the cartoon to the left infers some positive observations during the period we have been cooped up inside.  There is evidence of lower pollution levels in air and water – Los Angles has less smog than it’s experienced in decades, and fish have been observed in the normally inhospitable canals of Venice.  These bright spots will not likely last as the economy opens back up.  Although it is occurring under less than ideal circumstances, it does provide dramatic evidence of what is possible if we change the worst of our pollution-generating habits.  

Much will be studied and written about this pandemic, and history will attribute accolades and blame through the clarity of hindsight.  My hope is more scientific evidence will emerge confirming Climate Change mitigation is possible – if we have the courage and conviction to act.

For the Facilities Management profession, the pandemic has revealed who had effective Disaster Plans in place, and who did not.  Industries such as food service, retail, hospitality and transportation have been decimated – and no amount of planning would have had much effect for them.  Here again, much will be scrutinized in retrospect.

For those FM’s looking for COVID resources, IFMA has amassed a collection of related materials in their Coronavirus Preparedness Resource Center.  The IFMA Foundation just released an authoritative Pandemic Manual.  And Lear Corporation produced a Safe Work Playbook: 2nd Edition.  All are freely available for download.

As always, we hope you find the newsletter enlightening…
Dean Stanberry