Unprecedented. We have all heard this term many times over the past few weeks. While there is a misguided minority claiming the global response to COVID-19 is blown out of proportion, obviously this is not the case. Ask New York, Italy or Spain.
I’ll say it once again because the universal public health message bears repeating: stay home, wash your hands and be patient.
Staying home 24/7 is not routine for most. If doing so ever was “the dream” it’s been proven to be an empty one. If there were that kind of free time in the normal world, we would spend it riding. Yet I still find myself thinking, I’ll go here or there until I remember, heck, I can’t do that. Even the ferries serving Vancouver Island where I make my home are feeling the brunt of the no travel edict and passenger rates have fallen dramatically turning my island into its own quarantine zone. Yes, it’s a closed new world.
That this crisis is occurring in the spring and has yet to show signs of diminishing means we will need to support the motorcycle shops when the all-clear is given. I have heard of shops taking a variety of actions including closing entirely, reducing hours and working with customers by appointment only. These difficult actions are wisely taken to protect employees and customers who might otherwise have to come into the shop.
There is no getting around that the annual peak in motorcycle sales occurs in the May, June and July period. While this mark may slide further into the year depending when all this ends, the post crisis period is going to be crucial for the industry.
Car dealers are running radio ads saying they will deliver sanitized new autos to driveways. That isn’t the way motorcycles are sold and frankly it is still bending the stay at home rules. Getting over the crisis is going to be a challenge and there are few ways to innovate. Workers aren’t working, businesses aren’t selling and consumers aren’t buying. Despite support from all levels of government it is going to be a tough haul.
The cover this issue says 2020: Special 1, because this is a digital issue only. To not publish a print edition was a difficult decision but there were too many factors that made it the right one. The issue goes through a lot of hands before it gets to your door and that alone is reason enough. The digital issue looks the same as it would printed on paper and we will add some of the content from this digital issue to the next print issue, which we hope to mail on schedule in May as we know many of you appreciate the hard copy you can feel in your hands and put up on the shelf or share when you have finished reading.
When I am out for a walk (keeping my social distance), I see quite a few motorcycles on the road. One of my riding friends says that okay. On a motorcycle you are self-isolated anyway. But remember no hanging out in shops, no coffee sessions on Saturday or Sunday mornings. No Tuesday night get-togethers. No show ‘n’ shines, races or gatherings. And wash your hands before and after pumping gas.
The COVID-19 crisis will be over eventually but as of this writing we had not seen the peak in Canada. If it is to come, let’s all work to make the peak as smooth and flat as possible. When it is over there will be work to do. But for now, stay home, stay healthy and we’ll see you on the other side of this challenge … and stay home and read because there is only so much Netflix one should watch.