We experienced a new confirmed case of COVID-19 amongst our employee group in the past week. It is a cautionary tale that highlights the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the virus. An FM site supervisor here in Toronto has been in self-isolation for some time after his sister tested positive. After nearly a month of working from home, our supervisor got a test in preparation for returning to the workplace as did his wife. Both results were positive. The most startling part of the story is that not one of these three individuals has ever felt ill or demonstrated symptoms. Yet all of them had the good sense to proceed with great caution and concern for others.

COVID-19 remains a potent hidden enemy. Some people recover quickly from infection. Some do not. Some get very ill. Some do not. Some do not even feel sick. But every infected person can transmit the virus and infect others regardless of whether they show symptoms or not. And every new person that gets infected spins the wheel of potential consequences. There are a lot of infected people that have yet to be identified through testing and tracing. This is not my opinion but rather the global scientific consensus communicated by our medical advisors.

I am very weary of people who choose to abandon science out of self-interest, latching onto whatever alternative theory of the pandemic that maximizes their personal convenience and minimizes their personal sacrifice. I am discouraged by people who are simply too lazy and selfish to think of others.

At B&M, we side with science. It is rather difficult to avoid when you think about it. Everything our company does is based on the application of science. Structures. Machines. Electricity. Mechanical cooling. Automation. Science is the foundation of our health and safety system and it will continue to be the centerpiece of our pandemic response.

Our communities are reopening. This is an important thing. We know that we can work and live safely around the threat of COVID-19 provided we respect the danger and vigilantly apply the controls that every responsible person and organization has championed since the outset: hygiene, distancing, isolation, gloves, and masks. Many jurisdictions, communities and companies are proving this right now. We are one of them. I continue to be so grateful for the effort and thoughtfulness of B&Mers throughout our company.

Over the past couple of years, we have been using the month of June to celebrate the founding of our company as we near our 100th birthday during 2021. The pandemic has negated the possibility of the modest social gatherings we enjoyed in the recent past. It also do not seem appropriate in light of all the suffering that is occurring in our communities at present. To this end, we have asked all of our offices to direct the monies budgeted for Founders’ Day celebrations to local charitable organizations that support hunger relief in our communities. The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically intensified food insecurity and people need our help.

This small gesture is a fitting tribute to WJ McDonald. He assisted many people during his lifetime. He did so with a sincere concern for family, friends, colleagues and strangers. Having struggled himself, he had a keen sense of when a person needed a hand. He knew without being asked and he helped without hesitation or fanfare.

So let’s continue to look out for our neighbours in our own quiet and responsible way. I assure you we would be making Ol’ Mac proud.