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My Take | April 13, 2020 | By:

by Janet Preus

If there is one thing that we all have in common today, it must be this: uncertainty. We can figure out how to recover from a terrorist attack, economic crises and international conflicts. But a pandemic like COVID-19 is unlike any foe we’ve ever faced. We’ve learned a lot in the weeks since it first appeared, but there is still a great deal that we don’t know. 

In the face of unprecedented difficulties, it has been enormously gratifying to report on an industry that pulled together in just days to respond to the crisis with desperately needed textile products, most specifically masks and gowns for health workers, first responders and others on the front lines fighting this terrible infection. It’s true that many businesses were motivated, at least in part, by the need to just keep their operations going making something, whether they’ve ever made it before or not. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s more work, more stress—and more uncertainty. But they are doing it. I have to admire that. 

I have been writing and editing articles almost exclusively related to the pandemic for about two weeks, and we’re going to stay on top of the COVID-19 stories for as long as it takes. If you haven’t already found it, I encourage you to visit IFAI’s COVID-19 Resource Center ( News from around the industry, from the government and among our members is all available in one location. Ongoing collaborations among textile organizations have made a big impact in expediting the flow of information, too. Working together helps; it really does. 

I think we all realize that our lives will never be quite the same again. We will be more vigilant and attentive. We will be more appreciative of the commitment of complete strangers to us who are pitching in and making masks and gowns, of the health care workers who risk their own lives in trying to save ours, of the folks who see to it we have food in our grocery stores, mail in our mailboxes, and empty garbage cans. I hope we will stay more grateful for whatever we have and more understanding of the circumstances of others. 

I’m still healthy, and I hope your and yours are, as well. I’m still writing and editing and I am still comfortably working from my own home. These days, that’s a lot. Even better, stories are surfacing that are completely unrelated to the pandemic. I find that very hopeful, and I’m ready to talk about them. I hope you, too, will welcome other news. There’s some incredible work going on that offers hope for tomorrow, and I hope it will ease the uncertainty for you.

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