We are indeed living in strange times

Who would ever have thought that we’d be living in the midst of a global Coronavirus pandemic? Who would have thought that so many businesses and educational institutions would be forced to close, or that annual events we’re so used to attending would be cancelled – including drupa, the world’s largest printing industry tradeshow. For me, as a proud Irish Canadian, the cancellation of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and celebrations really hit home.

Folks, this is the new normal until we’ve conquered this insidious virus. We must wash our hands every chance we get, keep our distance from each other and “self-isolate.” At press time, health officials also revealed that younger people were also at risk – not just older people with pre-existing medical conditions. So my advice would be to simply keep running your business as best you can, while also ensuring that your employees and family are safe. To cope, many are working remotely from their homes via the Internet, which is an excellent idea.

My firm belief is that we’ll get through this, just like we survived the swine flu in 2009 and SARS. If you’ll recall, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) was a viral respiratory disease caused by the SARS Coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Between November of 2002 and July of 2003, an outbreak of SARS in southern China caused an eventual 8,098 cases, resulting in 774 deaths reported in 17 countries, with a 9.6% fatality rate. So what we’re fighting now, though referred to as a “novel” virus, is not really that new. These next several months will be a test of our empathy and our humanity, as we must place emphasis on protecting others, by acting responsibly ourselves.

Finally, Claire Curcio, the mother of our editor Tony Curcio, lost a 3-year battle with Parkinson’s Lewy Body Dementia and passed away March 13 at the age of 99 in Toronto. Tony was with her until the end. We would like to offer our sincere condolences to him and to his family.

As always, stay positive and stay focused – especially during these very difficult times.

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Joe Mulcahy Publisher, Graphic Arts Magazine joe@graphicartsmag.com