Reopening America essential for the aggregate industry

By |  May 19, 2020


By mid-April, I lost track of how many weeks Pit & Quarry had been working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Time, during that stretch, lost some meaning.

So when P&Q’s parent company, North Coast Media, reopened its Cleveland office as an option for employees in May, I lunged at the opportunity to get out of the house, recapture some sense of normalcy and play a role in helping the nation stabilize.

Work life in the office isn’t what it was prior to the pandemic, but companies and their people learned a lot (social distancing, wearing masks) and had practical information reinforced (maintaining personal hygiene, cleaning surfaces) over the course of two months. That education, in addition to “flattening the curve,” afforded many parts of the country the chance to reopen.

The reopening of America is undoubtedly a controversial subject, though. There’s a lot of fear out there still. Some of that fear is real, but some of it is induced by a media that’s put all of its energy into this pandemic.

The scene in New York, for example, is not what’s happening across rural America, where so many of our industry’s operations reside. Yet, so many decision-makers (politicians) and influencers (the media) insist on suppressing parts of the U.S. that have felt little to no impact of the coronavirus.

Playing a part

Photo: P&Q Staff

Getting America going again means doing the little things – regularly filling your gas tank, supporting local businesses – that collectively add up to generate the revenues the states need. Photo: P&Q Staff

As I checked in with producers about their well-being over the last couple of months, I was sometimes caught off guard when sources would share that business was good – even up in some instances – and that they weren’t feeling any significant effects from the coronavirus. I’m guessing some of the more remote producers probably wondered why I was calling about the matter at all.

Residing in a metro area like Cleveland and consuming daily media reports about the virus, I made assumptions early on for small-town America. But the United States, of course, is not a one-size-fits-all nation.

If you’re a producer in Lima, Ohio, or Billings, Montana, you probably wonder what was this all for? If you’re situated in or near a metro area, you’re probably more understanding of the drastic measures put in place.

I’m not a doctor, but I understand the chance for a resurgence and a second wave is very real. I also, however, believe in getting America going again and doing the little things (filling my gas tank, supporting local businesses) that collectively add up to generate the revenues that our struggling states need.

Industries like ours, after all, depend on those.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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