What a difference a couple of weeks can make! Up to the middle of March business was going well, jobs were scheduled weeks to months ahead, and while the United States was aware of COVID-19 and its effect in other parts of the world, who would have thought it would literally shut down our strong economy seemingly overnight?

It has been an emotional roller coaster for families and businesses the past few weeks: no school, business, travel and being able to purchase essentials has all been affected by the pandemic. Now with many states mandating all non-essential businesses to close for weeks, what are contractors doing to make it through these difficult times?

We’re using terminology such as social distancing, self-isolation and no social gathering, which is telling us all to do everything we can do to minimize contact with each other. Our business is a people business. We are in constant contact with different people on a daily basis from residential to commercial. We shake hands, pat each other on the back and even get hugs from some of our clients. That has all come to a screeching halt.

For those that are still able to work, please remember to wear the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow health recommendations so that you do not contribute to spreading the virus.

And for those that have had to isolate themselves, what can you do to keep from going crazy being cooped up? Many are taking the downtime to organize their vehicles or shops and most everyone is spending more time with family and supporting their communities in their efforts to keep the virus from spreading.

Social media has given us the ability to stay in touch with loved ones, friends and business colleagues. I had the pleasure of being invited to a “Happy Hour Chat” with some flooring installers that Micah Loberg, from Loba/Wakol, organized. There was no agenda or selling of products, just a bunch of flooring contractors from all over the country talking about how things are going in their communities and how they are coping. The platform that was used was Zoom, which has video and audio so that you can see all the participants on the conference. A big shout out to Micah for organizing the video conference and I hope that others can do the same to keep our industry and friends in communication and connected during these stressful times.

On a personal note, my wife Suzy’s birthday was celebrated this past week without a family gathering. Instead, we did a group facetime. It’s definitely not the way we wanted it but it was great to use technology to stay in touch with family and we were all able to sing happy birthday to her.

Stay in touch with your clients and be ready to go back to work, because it will be busy once we get through this—and we will all get through this. My thoughts and prayers to all of you, and wishing you all the best.