Coronavirus fallout is inevitable, but print’s cool heads must prevail

Printweek editor, Darryl Danielli
Printweek editor, Darryl Danielli

Ruddy hell, no sooner were we starting to breathe a little easier after the constraints of Brexit uncertainty relaxed a tad, when a new potentially calamitous situation starts to bite – coronavirus.

And, in the short term, the impact of this one has the potential to make the no-deal Brexit that had businesses so worried look like a walk in the park.

Of course, you could be forgiven for thinking that when you weigh up the impact of coronavirus against that of flu on the global population, then the response from governments, organisations and businesses seems to be erring on the most extreme side of caution imaginable.

But until a cure or vaccine emerges or the infections simply peter out, even the most ardent ‘keep calm and carry on’ boss has to accept that over the coming weeks this is likely to impact every print business in some shape or form – because it seems the only thing more contagious than coronavirus is fear of coronavirus.

As highlighted in our briefing on p10, upcoming events are already being cancelled or postponed and its almost inevitable that some consumer marketing campaigns are vulnerable to being delayed – although, I suppose, at least panic buying consumers might just as easily be a boon for label and packaging printers!

Then there’s the potential effect of key production staff having to self-isolate or the lost days from a deep clean of the office or factory if one of your team is unfortunate enough to become infected.

However, there’s enough panic out there already and now is the time for cool ‘keep calm and carry on’ heads, with the proviso that another adage has to have equal importance: ‘failure to plan is planning to fail’.