Over the last few months, I can’t help but rewind and place myself back in early March when the COVID-19 pandemic was just starting to spread in the United States. It seems like such a long time ago that we only had a few cases in the entire country.
At the time, it seemed the general consensus was we’d hunker down and get past this aggressive virus in possibly a few weeks, maybe a month. And why wouldn’t it pass in that time, we thought? Of course, H1N1 (swine flu) was more than 10 years ago, and it has been 50-plus years since any other serious flu viruses really hung around or impacted us much. It’s been more than 100 years since the Spanish flu of 1918. Oh, the naivete!
Obviously, the Coronavirus is much different than more recent influenzas. As I sat down to write this month’s column, an email from SEMA popped up in my inbox. Would it be another safety update? Would it be promises of another great show happening in the fall? No, this time, the release announced even the mighty SEMA Show would be cancelled in 2020 due to COVID.
I think, if we’re all being honest, we knew it was coming. Given how many daily cases of COVID-19 we keep seeing – now nearly six months after the first U.S. positive tests – there would have been no truly safe way to hold a tradeshow as large as SEMA. But I can’t help but feel bummed. Bummed for SEMA. Bummed for our industry and bummed we still haven’t gotten ours heads around Coronavirus.
Did I want to be surrounded by 130,000 potential COVID carriers in November? Hell no. But that week in Las Vegas is unlike anything else the industry offers. I’ll miss seeing the SEMA glitz and glam, and of course, getting opportunities to catch up with industry folks, both old acquaintances and new.
In fact, it was at the 2019 SEMA Show that I got a chance to speak with both Leah Pruett and Ashley Corzine for this month’s issue with a focus on some of the women in our great industry. Following last year’s inaugural women’s issue, this year we put more focus on those women who are in the driver’s seat, pushing the limits of motorsport. From the dragstrip to monster truck stadiums to Daytona and the classic tractor pull, we got a chance to talk to some great women this year.
Of course, we also spoke to a few women who are holding it down inside engine shops, on the corporate side of the industry and the classroom too. We even feature one who is in the limelight entertaining automotive enthusiasts to help them learn more about all kinds of vehicles.
While we may not have a SEMA Show or an AAPEX Show in-person this November – the jury is still out on PRI, though it doesn’t look promising – at least we still have plenty of ways to communicate with one another. Whether it’s a classic phone call or text, or a Zoom or Teams video chat, we’re finding ways to keep giving you great content. We hope you enjoy the August issue! EB