Nolan's Notes: Sometimes, You Have to Shout ‘Stop the Presses!’


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I-Connect007 was working diligently to research and report on “Going Green” for the April issue. Although it was a good topic, sometimes, the world has other plans.

As the COVID-19 outbreak went global, all plans changed for the electronics industry. As I write this column, orders for medical devices— ventilators, respirators, and viral detection equipment, especially—are the manufacturing priority, all while a large portion of the world’s population shelters in place (as the U.S. tends to call it) to slow and eventually stop the viral spread. All the while, Wuhan—and China as a whole—start to reemerge. Seemingly overnight, we pivoted to respond to a health crisis.

We’re inundated by pandemic news on the mainstream media. We know what’s happening in the U.S., China, Taiwan, Spain, Italy, the U.K., and elsewhere around the globe. There is hardly a conversation to be had on any topic that doesn’t include mention of the pandemic. While going green was our original topic, current events demanded that we pivot, devoting this issue to the breaking news and changing dynamics COVID-19 has brought us.

Around the world, we shelter in place and wait. We work from home and take over the frontline duties of educating our children. In some ways, with some people, we are coming closer together. In other ways, we are enacting strict social distancing to keep each other safe.

And yet, we still find new ways to reach out. I live in a building with about 90 loft-style apartments in a mostly-urban neighborhood on the west coast of the U.S. Before the outbreak, my neighbors were consistently aloof. Now, though, it’s different. We keep our physical distance, sure, but we stop when we encounter a neighbor and check on one another. Are they in need of something? A walk down the hallway will now regularly include bags of groceries or household items left on a neighbors’ doorstep by someone else in the building. Human connection means so much during this time, and we’re helping each other by sharing our resources.

To read this entire column, which appeared in the April 2020 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.

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