By the time my grandfather Sandy Bienenstock joined Furniture World in 1922 the 1918 influenza pandemic had receded to memory. Somewhere between 20 and 100 million died worldwide (nearly 700,000 in the US) — a terrible loss.
It's humbling that over 100 years later not much has changed in the ways we've responded to the current pandemic. The primary strategy employed — social distancing — is the same as in 1918. The political response to COVID-19 across the globe has followed a similar trajectory. In 1917, California Senator Hiram Johnson repeated the often-quoted observation that “The first casualty when war comes is truth.” Denials and wishful thinking always lead. But in times like these, everyone eventually comes to understand that we will be in a mess for some time.
Conditions change, but human nature stays more or less the same. That is a cause for optimism. People are resilient and those of us in the furniture industry perhaps more than most.
I invite you to digest the topical information in this edition as well as peruse current news and useful articles that can be found on the www.furninfo.com website in the coming weeks. Editorial features written by some of the best minds in our industry will help you to respond to fast-moving events and position your businesses for future success.
Providing useful content to the furnishings retailers in both prosperous and difficult times is what Furniture World has done successfully for the past 150 years.
I wish you patience and a bit of luck as you navigate your businesses and lives. If you have experiences and strategies to share, or information you've uncovered that will help others, please let me know. We will be glad to spread the word!
Russell Bienenstock is Editor-in-Chief of Furniture World Magazine, founded 1870. Comments can be directed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.