The world is slowly opening upPublished 10/5 at 11:15
I think I can see a dim light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccination around the world has started, albeit rather late in many countries.
Some countries have been very good at vaccinating their populations, such as the United States, where many have already received their second dose. In Europe, however, things are slower and in Sweden, where I am located, the goal now is for everyone who wants to have their second dose to have it by the end of September.
But in parallel with the vaccination programmes, the pandemic continues to spread and claim lives, meaning that it is far from over. The prevalence of new virus mutations raises concerns about whether the vaccines protect against these developments, or whether supplementary vaccinations will need to be carried out. All of this means that the pandemic and its results are far from over. Even when vaccinated, we must continue to follow our authorities' rules and recommendations to keep our distance, wear face masks, nor to meet others if you or someone in your family is ill, etc.
The industries that PDi Magazine covers and the many business people and manufacturers that we are in regular contact with do not testify to a ‘business as usual’ situation, but rather doing what they can to continue with business. We have however noticed a clear difference for the better since the vaccination programmes started on a broader front, with the market slowly picking up. But after all, it has never been completely dead even when we had no vaccine in sight. Manufacturers and contractors in our industry managed to adapt to the situation and find new ways to carry out their contracting projects and meet with their customers. Digital meetings have become commonplace and become a tool that works, and I am sure that we will see them much more when the pandemic is over.
Many companies have also noticed that reduced costs in travel, hotel accommodation, trade fair participation and other activities are actually making a difference to their books. But in the long run, meeting customers digitally and not at trade fairs is not seen as a satisfactory way of continuing. People understand that the current pandemic induced situation is exceptional, but sooner or later we must return to a work pattern similar to what we experienced before the pandemic; even if we need to learn to follow new types of restrictions when we finally meet up. Thus in Europe, work is being done to design a digital vaccine passport that will be a requirement to present when, for example, participating at trade fairs.
In this issue of PDi you will find a lot of interesting articles about new products on the market as well as several interesting features. There is also information about the World of Concrete (WOC) show which will be held in Las Vegas in June. WOC is actually the only trade show in our industry that is to be held during the first six months of this year. During the autumn, though, it is believed that quite a number of trade shows are planned to be held around the world; that is unless we see some dramatic changes in the pandemic. In that case we are back to square one again.
My advice to you is to continue to follow restrictions and protect you and others from becoming infected as the best ways to protect you and your family, and ensure that we return to some kind of normality, sooner rather than later.