This is a pretty busy stretch of the year for me.
This month, our cover story is our annual Top 100 Food & Beverage Companies, which is always a big project. Next month is our annual article reporting the results of our State of Food Manufacturing survey. In between those two things is the Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference, which was rescheduled from April to Sept. 14-16 and is now a virtual event.
That’s a lot over a short period of time, but it doesn’t necessarily feel busy as much as it feels … normal. Over the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has kicked food and beverage production into overdrive, and it’s had us generating more coverage than usual as well. I’ve adjusted to that, as I’m sure most of you have.
But what I’ve been wondering lately is what comes next. This is a busy stretch for me and probably for you, but it’s really busy for everybody right now. We’re trying to figure out what to do with schools, whether we can start sports seasons, what businesses can and can’t reopen, how we arrange child care and a million other things. And, of course, there’s an election campaign going on as well.
All of these things add up to this weird feeling where we’re not “doing anything” because all of our normal social activities are on hold, yet a lot of us are feeling more worn out than ever. It’s a weird and disconcerting combination, and the worst part is not knowing where the finish line is.
While we may have adjusted to the workload, all of those unknowns and questions and wondering what comes next still takes a toll. In many ways, the workload is the easy part.Unfortunately I don’t have the answers, and I don’t know that anybody does right now. But what I do know is that “normal” will probably never be—or at least feel—quite the same, and we’ll all have to adjust however we can.