What a difference a few months — or weeks — can make. In January, as I was attending AHR Expo in Orlando, there was little talk of COVID-19 or the coronavirus that causes the disease. I recall in hindsight a few prescient individuals who declined to shake hands, instead offering elbow bumps. They were sheepish, almost self-deprecating, offering the excuse that they had a lot of upcoming travel and couldn’t risk catching a cold.

Even a few weeks ago, as I was putting the final touches on our April issue in early March, I could not foresee the changes that would occur before I found myself in the same place with our May issue.

While safer-at-home and shelter-in-place orders in 42 states (at last count) have forced the closing of many service-oriented businesses — restaurants and bars, theaters, gyms and even child care — manufacturing continues. To each of you who have continued the essential work you do — food and beverage processing and production, cold storage and supply chain support, and maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, to name a few — I send my personal thanks. It may feel — at times — that we are just carrying on as usual, but the purpose behind our work is life sustaining. Please take precautions to keep yourselves safe. As the last weeks have shown, our country needs you!

In the coming weeks and months, we can all look forward to the diminishing grip of this pandemic and a return a robust economy. While some of the behaviors adopted to help curb the spread of COVID-19 may endure — more thorough and frequent handwashing, for instance — we will once again be able to meet in groups and share face-to-face conversations that don’t involve a webcam. (Though, I have to ask, am I the only one enjoying the voyeuristic looks into others’ homes and offices?) And in looking forward to that time, I’d like to personally invite each of you to the inaugural Process Heating & Cooling Show, the only tradeshow to focus specifically on industrial heating and cooling in the process industries. Planned for June 16-17, 2021, the event will bring together manufacturers of industrial equipment for process cooling and heating with engineering professionals from the process industries responsible for thermal processing at their plants.

Do you have technical insights you would like to share with our exclusive audience of manufacturing engineers? Abstracts are due July 31, and feel free to call or email me to discuss any ideas you may have. You can get the full details about our call for papers on our show website, www.heatingcoolingshow.com.

Linda Becker, Associate Publisher and Editor BeckerL@bnpmedia.com