Apr 16, 2020The global community faces a devastating new normal, with more than two million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 130,000 deaths so far, and those numbers are rapidly rising. Economies have been hit unbelievably hard, businesses have closed their doors or furloughed employees, schools are utilizing remote learning, and a lot of people are finding their personal finances dramatically drained. Sadly, this bleak situation is unlikely to end soon, despite what politicians might attempt to convince you.
We at RFID Journal are heartbroken by what is happening around us. As someone who lives near New York City, where COVID-related deaths are surging, I've seen too many people I know end up diagnosed with the coronavirus. A close friend, in fact, is currently in a hospital on oxygen, which is terrifying to consider. Plus, my son is missing out on his final year of high school, his graduation ceremony, and potentially the start of his college years, while my daughter is trying to earn a graduate degree in a therapy-related field without being in a clinical setting or interacting with patients or therapists… which is kind of like learning how to cook without a kitchen or food.
With what we're seeing daily, it's easy to despair. I've found myself doing just that several times in recent weeks, as I've been isolated from other humans save for my wife and children. Meditation and exercise help, but it's all too easy, every time one of us must go to a store, to worry if we'll contract the virus, and to empathize with frightened workers who have little choice but to keep working despite the risk of infection. It's easy to watch the news, hear the horrible accounts of conditions at hospitals and morgues, and assume the worse. I have a sister, cousins, and friends who are medical professionals, and I constantly worry for their continued health and their children's well-being.
The news has been grim—and yet, for many companies, business has continued during these challenging times. It hasn't been easy for them and it's required a great deal of adjustment and adaptation, but they're doing their best to make it work. Supply chain problems, restricted personal interactions, rising numbers of infected personnel, stay-at-home orders keeping customers away, and resultant sharp declines in revenue are just some of the issues these companies now face in their uphill efforts to remain afloat during a global pandemic.
The RFID sector has been greatly affected, just like all industries have. I receive numerous press releases every day from companies looking to share their latest product releases, case studies and other announcements, and what I've noticed in the past couple of weeks has been that the majority of these releases now relate to COVID-19 in some manner. The announcements have not stopped arriving; their focus has simply changed, with many firms offering solutions or services designed to help businesses and individuals cope with the current chaos. If there's a bright spot to any of this—and I realize it's a relatively small bright spot, badly obscured by the darkness—it's that we've seen companies pulling together in a crisis.
Whether or not you've tailored your company's focus to address the pandemic, RFID Journal wants to hear from you. If your solutions or services have been deployed by a new end-user company or organization, reach out to us so we can report on it. If your firm has introduced a recent product or issued other news regarding radio frequency identification, Near Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, artificial intelligence or related technologies and innovations, let us know. If it's relevant to our website's focus, we can share it with our audience.
In addition, we invite members of the academic, industrial and research communities to submit recent white papers relevant to the fields of radio frequency identification and the Internet of Things. Topics can include supply chain, asset tracking, inventory tracking, warehousing, health care, manufacturing, retail, security, aerospace, defense, privacy, logistics, transportation, standards and regulations, the environment, and more. Any white papers accepted for publication will be added to RFID Journal's online library and will also be spotlighted in our email newsletters.
Let us help you during this difficult time by getting your news out there to our readership. To submit product releases, case studies, white papers or other announcements, or to propose story ideas or guest editorials, feel free to email me. But please do so from home, staying safe and healthy all the while. When it comes to taking unnecessary risks during a pandemic, no news is good news.
Rich Handley has been the managing editor of RFID Journal since 2005. Rich has authored, edited or contributed to dozens of books about pop culture and is also the editor of Eaglemoss's Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection.