Author: Cieana Detloff, Editor & Content Director with Empowering Pumps & Equipment
I find myself chuckling ironically today as I remember the word placed in bold across the cover of the Empowering Pumps & Equipment June 2019 print issue – Disruption. At that time, we were speaking about how new technologies and movements force us to change our ways; but at this very moment, the world is experiencing disruption through a global pandemic – the likes of which we have not seen for over a century. What makes this pandemic different is that those of us experiencing it are in a digitally connected world. This has created a unique experience for most of us. People living across the world have, since December, watched others in person and *online* to see how they react. This gauging of reactions – beyond individuals, across countries even, has affected how we in turn respond.
Here in Chicago, I can tell you the reactions I’ve seen range the full gamut. There were people with a completely laissez-faire attitude (that was me – until last Thursday night) and those who were part of the massive runs on grocery stores. America had been poised to react to the COVID-19 virus in much the same way an elementary-age schoolchild readies themself to jump into a fast-moving double-dutch rope. Because we are connected digitally, and have the capacity to gain international information so quickly, we realized the dire consequences of our hesitation – especially seeing what is happening in Italy and knowing the US is only ~11 days behind them.
The reality of this disruption has moved many to act. The President has declared a national emergency. State Governors are making decisions to close schools for the rest of the month. Meanwhile, manufacturers and Industry does everything it can to safeguard employees while continuing operations to minimize the economic downturn that is sure to ensue. Disruption is here. Now it’s a question of what we will do.
Various conferences and events have cancelled or postponed. Ones we know of include the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston (postponed), Reliable Plant, Texas Water (rescheduled for July 13th -16th), the Asia Turbomachinery & Pump Symposium (rescheduled for August 4th – 6th), and the WateReuse California Annual Conference. Empowering Pumps & Equipment will continue to make people aware of any information and resources as they become available. One great resource is the Water Environment Federation – they have a webpage dedicated to sharing coronavirus updates for those working in the water and wastewater sector. Members of our team are in the process of searching for additional resources to share with the #PumpTalk Community.
The entire team at Empowering Pumps & Equipment will continue to Connect, Inform, and Educate the Pump Industry. We will continue our interactions online and are committed to Empowering you to make informed decisions. To give you an opportunity to Connect, even as we prepare to self-isolate and reduce physical interactions. We want you to know that your Community is here for you.
As we make changes in the way we behave as a result of this disruption, let’s also challenge ourselves to shift our thinking. “In Chinese, the word Crisis (危机) is made up of two Characters – Danger (危) and Opportunity (机).” (Thank you for posting that on LinkedIn, Diane Eldridge). That part about Opportunity really struck a chord with the defiant optimist in me. Let’s use this period of disruption and take it as an opportunity to innovate. Let’s think outside the box.
Talk to me, folks. How are you dealing with this disruption? Share the ways you are innovating – use the comments section. When we share ideas (not germs), the magic happens!