As I write this, we in the U.S. are heading into Memorial Day weekend. I have to admit, it’s a bit strange and certainly doesn’t feel like a holiday weekend. Usually, this time of year marks the start of summer with gatherings of family and friends at BBQs, the beach or lake, parades or other social events. But as we all know, the past two months have felt quite surreal. The pandemic has gone on long enough for us to have all experienced a mix of emotions and even physical or financial hardships.

During this period, I have spent much quality time with family, taken many long walks, spring cleaned and completed long-overdue home projects, as well as continuing to produce content for the magazine. I have also sat in on a few industry webinars and had the chance to talk with members of the industry.

Whether it is business or personal, one common thread I am taking away from recent conversations I have had is that we all need to be united and also respect people’s opinions and comfort zones. Every one of us is unique with our own thoughts and feelings. While it is okay if we don’t all agree, the only way to be truly productive is to respect each other and work as team.

One fabricator on a webinar summed it up best. He said it felt like his own social experiment. He has employees that weren’t comfortable coming into work and others that stepped up and were willing to do whatever needed to be done. He encountered customers that wanted to put their projects on hold and others calling to see when a templator could get to their home. As a leader during these crazy times, you have to learn to navigate all of these channels to keep a business running.

Another message that comes through strongly is to be prepared through planning and thinking ahead. Some fabricators have spoken about how they believe the worst is yet to come for them. The past few months they have been working on projects that had been in the works, but drumming up new business during the pandemic will be challenging.

The one thing to remember is that we are all in this together. The industry as a whole is being affected by the repercussions of COVID-19. In my opinion, the best way to weather the storm is to talk with your peers and share your experiences. It helps to realize you aren’t alone, and sharing information will only be beneficial to everyone.

I hope everyone continues to stay well and positive.