Welcome to the final Kickstart of 2020. I'd love to make some proclamation here declaring that we're leaving behind all that made 2020 so difficult, but we all know that the medical and economic trials aren't over yet. So I'll resist the temptation to put a tidy bow on the year that was.
For the record, the first time Plastics News mentioned the coronavirus was the Jan. 24 Kickstart, when it was a "flu-like illness" that had appeared in Wuhan, China. Automakers and suppliers in the region were curtailing travel and keeping an eye on health guidelines.
"The impact on production may not be clear for weeks to come," I wrote in that first mention of COVID-19.
If you'd rather not wallow too much in what we didn't know, I'd suggest you remind yourself of what the plastics industry actually did manage to accomplish. You can download the Oct. 26 digital edition of PN, which we gave over wholly to coverage of the "Rapid Responders." For a couple of examples, how about Frank Esposito's interview with three Braskem workers who volunteered for a 28-day shift or Sarah Kominek's story on how molders adjusted production to fill new needs, such as Molded Precision Components of Ontario. Its business went from 95 percent automotive in December 2019 to 90 percent medical today.