Readers of gasworld are a well-travelled lot, but not as much recently and for the months ahead. Many of you have scaled back or stopped travel commitments due to coronavirus (Covid-19), which has become the biggest story of 2020 as fast as it has spread across the world from China and the wider Asia region.
We started the year not knowing much – if anything – about coronavirus, a highly contagious and sometimes fatal respiratory illness, but it has shot to the top of everyone’s agenda. Those in the North American industrial gas industry have taken precautions to try and prevent the spread of the virus, as well as preparing for its impact on business and product demand.
Measures designed to halt coronavirus transmission have included quarantining workers, putting whole cities/countries into lockdown, idling factories, and social distancing. This has resulted in a reduction of manufacturing in some countries, and a widespread halt in international travel. China, Japan and Italy were worst hit early in the outbreak, but there were consequences for businesses beyond those nations. Oil prices and stockmarkets plummeted in March and, depending on who you believe, the coronavirus will trigger the biggest financial crisis since the banks crashed in 2008. How will all of this affect your business and supply chain, and how sick will the coronavirus leave global economy?
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