Of course, we Americans are and have always been privileged, as we are a country that, for as long as it has existed, thrives on individual freedom. However, that freedom doesn’t come free, and sadly, we’re actually learning about the cost to keep us free the hard way this year with the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic as we continue to battle against this invisible enemy, which we don’t seem to have much of a defense against; we have no real treatment or vaccines for it yet. When we think about fighting for our freedom, we tend to think of the military. While our armed forces do have some role in fighting off this virus, the role is largely on the medical occupations.
On The Frontlines
The real soldiers on the frontlines this year, whether they are enlisted in the forces or not, have shown to be our doctors, nurses, EMTs and paramedics, scientists and other medical professionals, and even volunteers assisting the professionals or taking part in trials and tests for potential treatment or vaccines. Then, we have other life-sustaining workers such as truckers, railroad and transit workers, along with food service and retail personnel. All of these workers are putting themselves in harm’s way as they fight off the coronavirus and keep this country and the rest of the world turning during these hard times. Hopefully, all the chaos will relax a little and quarantine restrictions (which, in certain cases, you can be fined and/or arrested for violating) will be further eased sooner rather than later. Maybe we’ll also have some herd immunity, treatment, and/or vaccines by the end of this year. It’s all up in the air.
Effects on Our Industry
As far as diesel truck-related events go, there unfortunately have been plenty of postponements and cancellations as a result of this virus, as well as plenty of events yet to come that have been put into question. For example, a handful of truck shows in our locale of Idaho Falls, Idaho have been cancelled this year. Around the country, the 2020 Ultimate Callout Challenge (UCC) at Lucas Oil Raceway in greater Indianapolis, Ind. was postponed to July 10-12 (and uncertainty remains), and whether or not the trade-only 2020 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nev. is happening in its usual fashion is still uncertain. It’s quite likely if events do happen this year that they will at least need to enact some form of social distancing protocols to slow the spread of the virus.
On the bright side, though, if you have more time at home, you’ll also have more time to spend in your garage or to go to a shop to have work done on your truck. In response to the negative economic effects resulting from the world shutting down, plenty of companies in our industry are offering significant discount deals on parts and kits so you’ll spend less money on your project if you still want to build.
Depending on where you live, you may be safe leaving your home for certain activities, as long as you’re social distancing (at a minimum of 6 feet apart). Chances are, if you live near a tightly packed, virus-ridden large city like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, safe ways to participate in activities are harder to come by. In many areas, however, you should definitely be able to hit the dirt, sand, or rocks with your truck for some off-road fun. After all, you’re safe and protected from virus transmission inside your cab. In several instances, you should also still be able to go hunting, boating, fishing, or camping.
If you use your truck for work, you should still be able to safely do business in many cases as well. Social distancing while doing construction, landscaping, or towing and hauling, for example, can be done fairly easily for the most part. Many states have also classified several of such fields “essential businesses” as they are very largely life-sustaining anyway. Let's keep our heads up; there's still plenty to do with our trucks even though we're hunkering down.