In the past six months, I think it is safe to say that all of our lives have changed in one way or another. Whether you live in California, New York, Italy or Brazil, we have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Living in New Jersey, the summer has been pretty nice. While this area was among the hardest hit at the beginning of it all, we have managed to learn to wear masks, social distance and keep our number of cases down the past several months. I have enjoyed outside dining at local restaurants, and while things are definitely different, it has been a good feeling to at least be able to get out and enjoy a meal.

On the work front, not much has changed. The editorial staff at Stone World has continued business as usual. Of course we aren’t traveling these days, so there has been the noticeable difference of having more time to complete our work. We are utilizing this extra time to bring our readers more web exclusives and podcasts.  We have also taken part in webinars and other virtual industry events.

The halt in day-to-day life as we once knew it has made us all take a step back and reevaluate how we do things. I have listened to panel discussions where fabricators from across the country have shared their experiences and new procedures they are implementing to keep their employees and customers safe. Trade shows are offering virtual platforms, which allow for continued education and for manufacturers to show off their latest products. Stone World and the Natural Stone Institute held its first virtual workshop at the end of the July and we have another scheduled for this month. We are pleased to report the first one was a success. As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The pandemic has forced us to get creative and find new ways to function.

For the past several months, I have heard from fabricators, and even on the local news, that people are using this time for home improvement projects. Speaking personally, my husband put up a new fence in our backyard and we have cleaned out a lot of things. I also have several friends and family members who are renovating their kitchens. I have been happy to put them in touch with one of my local fabricator friends.

While I know these times are a struggle and the work environment is different, we have to try to make the best of it and work in the “new norm.” I hope everyone continues to remain safe, and if you have anything to share with us, we are a phone call or email away.