Just when everything was going beautifully well, there comes, like an unexpected bolt of thunder across the skies, the COVID-19 crisis, and locks everyone down. With extension after extension or the re-imposition of the lockdown continues to disrupt everyday life around the globe.
Manufacturing activity ground to a half, construction activity and maintenance routines were suspended, supply chains were disrupted. With stringent travel restrictions, almost all the industry related events and shows were cancelled or postponed. Even the event we had planned 'India Corrosion 2020,' in conjunction with our magazine's 10th anniversary celebrations had to be kept in abeyance.
Yes, scientists, medical researchers, et al, are working relentlessly to stop the spread of this deadly virus. The coatings industry too is girding up it loins. Many companies have taken upon themselves to identify the challenges and share knowledge on techniques that could prevent the spread of infection, both in the present and the future.
Anti-viral coatings contain agents that prevent microorganisms growing on the surfaces of materials, and are increasingly being researched for potential use in clinics, industry and domestic environments. Some have even launched these products, a few of which we describe in main story in this issue.
Many other paint companies or their foundations are contributing substantial sums of money to organizations – governmental as well as private – supporting immediate community relief efforts and emerging recovery needs amid the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Others are providing relief to people affected down the line like painters and their families. One of India's leading paint companies – Asian Paints – instead of slashing pay and jobs, standard industry responses to the current situation, is raising salaries to boost staff morale! Whatever, the industry has risen up to the crisis in its own way.
As the saying goes, every dark cloud has a silver lining. Surely, soon one day, the environment will open up. The market will start to open out and that is something the industry has optimism about. Construction and maintenance work will start, and with that coatings and paint.