Unless you live in a cave on a remote island, you have heard plenty of news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus). On March 11, the World Health Organization officially called the spread of the virus a pandemic. That same day, the CDC reported that there was a total of 938 cases of people infected with COVID-19 in the U.S. with 29 fatalities. Cases have been confirmed in 38 states and the District of Columbia. Some previously unheard-of actions are being taken to try to minimize the spread of the virus. Some of the recent news announcements here in the U.S. include the suspension of the NBA season, the NCAA holding its tournament without fans and a ban of travel from Europe (excluding the UK).
Aviation has definitely been affected. The travel ban itself will affect Airlines’ bottom lines. In addition, some aviation trade shows are being cancelled or rescheduled. Purdue Aviation Day scheduled for April 18 has been cancelled. MRO Americas, which was scheduled for April 28 – 30 and the Aerospace Maintenance Competition that was to be held in conjunction with that show have been postponed, with the events being rescheduled to late August/Early September. The Aircraft Interiors Expo and its co-located events scheduled to be held in Hamburg, Germany March 30 – April 2 have been postponed.
Trade shows have always been a great place to learn about the latest products and services while networking with peers. One has to wonder what the long-term effects the virus will have on the trade show industry.
I’m not a medical expert, nor do I play one on TV. So, I’m the last person who should suggest what you should do concerning the risks of COVID-19. But here are a few thoughts.
First, follow your company’s procedures. Some companies are banning work-related travel. Many companies also have updated procedures to try to prevent the spread of the virus. These include preventative measures from frequent hand washing and sanitization procedures to staying home if you feel sick. This can be tough for hourly workers who can’t afford to miss out on pay. However, we should consider the impact to our company and coworkers if we go to work anyways and cause others to get sick.
In the end, we should use common sense. While we shouldn’t overreact, we should remain cautious.
Stay safe out there!