Housekeeping: TTAC, the Coronavirus, and You
You’ve no doubt spent the last week receiving emails from every brand you’ve ever interacted with, with each missive spelling out how the company in question is handling the coronavirus.
Some of these messages make sense — I definitely want to know that airlines, hotels, and restaurants are taking this seriously and expanding their efforts to keep things clean and disinfected, as well as how cancellation/reservation policies may change — while others seem frivolous. Do I need to hear from Sunglass Hut?
You might be wondering how TTAC’s coverage of the auto industry will change, with life having seemingly ground to a halt in large swaths of the United States and Canada and around the world.
Instead of spamming you with another email, I’m going to answer that question here (although some of you get each post emailed to you. I’m aware of the irony).
For the most part, TTAC isn’t going to be significantly affected. Our team was already all remote and working from home before the word “coronavirus” entered our vocabulary. We’re already socially distanced. And if one of us does fall ill from coronavirus/COVID-19 or just the regular old seasonal cold/flu, we’ll carry on as we normally would if one of us was away from desk. Unless a regular feature gets moved around, you likely won’t even notice.
This means our standard schedule of news posting should continue as if nothing has changed. Of course, coronavirus is having and has already had a huge impact on the automotive industry, and we’ll cover it as expertly as we always do. We’ll continue to monitor and report on every way the coronavirus affects the industry, from production to sales to whatever else, and we’ll also continue to bring you non-virus-related news and features, just to give you a welcome break from COVID-19 talk.
Still, you’ve likely heard that the New York Auto Show has been postponed, and if you follow any auto journalists on social media, you’ve likely heard of drive events being canceled.
That’s true. This means that there are a few vehicle launches TTAC was invited to that are now not happening, at least not as scheduled. Other outlets, of course, are in the same boat. So if you’re wondering why certain vehicles aren’t getting reviewed by us or the automotive press at large, or why the curtain isn’t being lifted on certain product, blame the coronavirus. While life and death is far more important than a new-car launch — although the potential economic impact of a canceled/delayed launch is nothing to sneeze at, and I worry about those who will lose jobs or income — our little corner of the world is not immune (in all senses of the word) from the impact of the disease.
Still, we’ll have car reviews. Journalists are still getting loans at home, and I have a few cars I drove in recent months that I plan on writing up. Also, look for a review of the Honda CR-V Hybrid this week. That was the last vehicle any of us traveled to drive before the world went to hell, and the embargo breaks tomorrow.
A quick aside: being on a drive program as the rest of the world starts to shut down is a weird experience. Nobody shakes hands. Being behind the wheel of a car for a good chunk of the day, unable to check news because one shouldn’t look at his phone while driving, disconnects you from the world — which offers up a sense of false comfort as things crumble, but also leaves you scrambling to catch up to the latest updates as soon as you’re in the passenger seat. Added to that is the strangeness of being in a nice place in a nice town and carrying on like normal (everyone around us, including the retirees and tourists who weren’t part of the event but simply staying in the same hotel, acted as if nothing was amiss) while events are canceling left and right. All while a sense of foreboding hangs in the air.
It only got weirder when I flew home — between the time I touched down at O’Hare and the time my head hit the pillow, hours later, the world had completely changed.
Look, this virus sucks. It’s sad hearing about the sickness and deaths it’s causing, and not just among the elderly. This thing can even hit healthy, relatively young adults hard. Don’t be fooled into complacency just because a lot of cases are mild and a lot of patients recover fully. If you’re over 60 and/or immunocompromised, or you’re healthy and under 60 but unlucky enough to get hit with one of the more serious cases, this thing can wreak some havoc, even if it doesn’t kill you.
So listen to the CDC and medical experts, wash your damn hands, and avoid crowds for the time being. If you live in a place that’s closed down all bars and restaurants, like I do, be prepared to find other ways to entertain yourself, such as reading TTAC. And for God’s sake, stop hoarding stuff.
In the meantime, if you’re stuck at home, we’ll have plenty of car-related content for you to read. Just don’t tell your boss that you’re frittering away your work time on TTAC. You know, just like you do when you’re in the office.
Stay healthy out there.
[Image: Shutterstock user Lightspring]
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*SIGH* . The Desert awaits . -Nate
"The Desert awaits ." I'm probably going to drive to Tuktoyaktuk on my holiday. Social distancing is a way of life up there. LOL