COVID-19. It has been the topic of the year. We have barely been able to go a day without talking about it, so forget about taking a week off the topic. We are still feeling the reverberations of its effects several months later. Now as we near the holidays, and we are seeing a surge starting to happen again, many in agriculture are beginning to wonder if we can weather another storm.
The first wave of COVID-19 hit in the middle of March and took many in the industry by surprise. We saw the fallout affect not only farmers, but processors, distributors, and retailers alike. There has been much credit given to these sectors for the hard work they did to help bring us through some tough times.
With the second wave growing in intensity, American Farm Bureau Federation’s Andrew Walmsley says we learned enough hard lessons the first time around to be better prepared this fall. This is all thanks to billions in aid that helped all invested parties.
The hard part about this time around is that we are post-election and into the holiday season when Congress meets even less. This puts up many question marks about the future of more COVID-19 assistance. We could be waiting until a new Congress is seated in January. However, Walmsley says that the Ag industry will do what it does whenever it faces a crisis; adapt.
Walmsley says that even though we are seeing more pull back from restaurants to grocery stores, as we did before, the industry knows better how to handle the situation to avoid some of the shutdowns and panic we saw the first time around.
Now, if we could just get consumers to learn their lessons, we could be just fine.