An article from Facility Executive arrived in my inbox yesterday, which was written by Kristin Bigda of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The article covered various resources available from NFPA, to help keep buildings safe and code-compliant, while also limiting the spread of COVID-19.
When I started reading the article, it felt like Kristin had been sitting next to me over recent weeks:
“In the months since coronavirus took hold in the United States, each and every one of us has been rattled both personally and professionally. There have been days that we’ve been glued to news reports, grappled with science and surges, questioned restrictions in place, and struggled to find our voice and vision as this virus plays out.”
While I always try to stay focused, this has been an extremely challenging time. I have been through all of the phases Kristin mentioned. Thankfully, I am always working from home unless I’m traveling, so I haven’t experienced the level of professional change that many others have. I do have 3 teenagers at home all day, every day, but at least I don’t have a 3-year-old asking me to open their applesauce during an important Zoom presentation (yes, that happened yesterday). So far, my family and friends have remained healthy, although my oldest daughter – now a college sophomore (time flies!) – had a local friend test positive for the virus yesterday. That hit pretty close to home.
As businesses and office buildings start to reopen, students head back to the classroom, and people feel more comfortable going out to do their shopping, eat at restaurants, or hit the gym, there are many unanswered questions about safety. At this point, it’s very difficult to know which precautions are the most crucial and which ones will turn out to be less effective.
What we do know for sure is that there are code requirements based on more than 100 years of experience, that must not be overlooked as we transition to “the new normal.” NFPA has compiled more than a dozen new resources including videos, fact sheets, and news releases, which can all be found at nfpa.org/coronavirus.