2020: A Year to Forget?

December 11, 2020
By Michael Copp, Executive Vice President

The American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou advised that “we may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.” This extremely challenging year will be remembered for some time despite our collective desire to leave it in the rear view mirror. Yet despite a pandemic, protests, plagues, unemployment, a recession, wildfires, hurricanes, and a presidential election, our Association and our industry continues to demonstrate a resiliency and determination that in a larger sense, defines this great nation. Our PHCC members continue to move forward with hope in their eyes and a bone in their teeth as they protect the health and safety of everyone and our planet.

Despite the cataclysmic destruction we have all witnessed, there are historic bright spots worth remembering as we head into 2021: (Retrieved on the World Wide Web on October 23, 2020 here)

  • The Bubonic plague inspired Sir Isaac Newton’s law of universal gravity. “While stuck at home [when his university closed], Newton spent time in his garden—where he watched an apple fall from a tree.”
  • The 1918 Spanish Flu disproportionately killed more men than women, causing women to enter the workforce and fill jobs traditionally held by men. “Soon women were asking for equal pay and not long after for voting rights. So, the Spanish Flu changed women’s role in society and helped pass the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920.”
  • “By 1925, a national disease reporting system was set up involving every U.S. state. Ten years later, the first national health survey was established.”
  • The Diphtheria epidemic launched the Iditarod sled dog race in Nome, Alaska. “Twenty teams of sled dogs transported the antitoxin vials over 674 miles of ice and snow” back to save a “large percentage of Alaska Natives who did not have resistance to the disease.”

The impact of events during 2020 have certainly impacted the construction industry. PlanHub noted back in March of 2020 in an online article, COVID-19 Possible Impacts On Construction Industry, that headwinds reflected within the supply chain caused shortages and construction delays. Banks became more risk adverse and hence, lending practices tightened and projects were deferred. Tailwinds include an availability of skilled workers that allow contractors to pursue projects that they may not have considered before. Interest rates remain low and give contractors greater courage to submit more bids, access financing for more projects and increased lines of credit. Lastly, PlanHub observed that “The Federal and State governments are [passing] unprecedented stimulus packages to boost the economy. [We should also] expect large investment in the infrastructure across the country.” (Retrieved on the World Wide Web on October 23, 2020 here)

We’ve been reminded of those things in life that are truly important and that people are our greatest strength. As 2020’s end draw nigh and the New Year’s Eve toll sounds at midnight, Brad Paisley suggests, “Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”




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