The face masks are back on again

Published 27/12, 2021 at 11:39

I am happy to deliver one more loaded issue of PDi Magazine. Despite both 2020 and 2021 having been maybe two of the most weird years since PDi was founded in 2000, they did turn out rather well for the international concrete cutting, demolition, recycling, remediation and concrete floor grinding and polishing industries. During the second half of 2021, restrictions were lifted in many countries around the world, in particular Europe, but the trend of opening up markets came to an abrupt end when the first cases of the Omicron mutation showed up in South Africa.

The world is so scarred by the pandemic that no nation wants to take the risk of ending where we were about a year ago. This means that now the face masks are back on again. I am speaking mostly regarding Sweden in this regard, which has until now been very liberal concerning facemasks. Since September this year, very few people have been wearing face masks in Sweden but since the first cases of Omicron showed up in Sweden, the number of people wearing face masks has increased again, even in Sweden. In other parts of Europe and the rest of the world, face masks have been kept on to an extent in public spaces.

However, we don’t know how serious the Omicron mutation is. We know it is spreading faster than the Delta version, but we don’t know if those with two jabs get sick or even die from it. Time will show when studies are carried out. We can only hope that Omicron is not more deadly, and that the third booster shot will be offered to the whole population and that the awareness of the need to get vaccinated will become more widespread. During the last few weeks we have learned that several anti-vaccination spokesmen have been affected and even died in some cases.

That’s all about the pandemic for the time being. In this issue of PDi, the last one in 2021, you can read about a lot of new products, interesting job site reports, company profiles, special features on new scrap shears, demolition robots, dust extraction and air cleaning devices, compact loaders and skid steers and more. This issue is also a show issue for the trade show World of Concrete (WOC) in Las Vegas, which will take place from 18 January 2022.

In terms of market events, 2022 will be an intensive year as almost all trade shows scheduled to happen in 2020 and 2021 were cancelled or postponed. A large number of domestic and international trade shows and conventions are now scheduled to take place in a ‘physical form’ again. Such events include the annual conventions of the German Demolition Association, CSDA, NDA, EDA and IACDS. WOC will take place as mentioned, and of course bauma is planned for October. The Scandinavian demolition and concrete cutting show Demcon is being organised in Stockholm on the 24 to 25 November, after being pushed back twice already. The aforementioned are just a few examples of scheduled events for 2022.

Based on what PDi has found from talking to both contractors and suppliers around the world, there is a big demand for new equipment and tools. Delivery times have been lengthened due to the lack of certain components, often  making waiting times extremely long, with many machines and tools out there needing to be replaced. I don’t think this situation can be fixed to its full extent during 2022, but maybe in 2023 the market will be back to normal. Those contractors that have enough equipment and supplies, and those manufacturers that have enough components on their shelves, are sure to enjoy a very competitive position during 2022. 

With that said, I would like to thank all our readers, advertisers and other supporters for their superb cooperation during 2021 and I hope to see many of you in the flesh next year. Please don’t forget to send in your stories about new products and tools, job site reports, business news, etc. I also would like to wish you a happy holiday and a good start to the new year.

Jan Hermansson

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