The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the entire world. Economically, socially, politically, everything is in a state of confusion and, in some cases, fear.
The auto manufacturing industry is bleeding hundreds of millions of dollars. People are losing jobs, plants are closed, pending vehicle models are being postponed or canceled outright. On top of that, most of the country is under, or just being released from, “stay at home” orders. This situation has ground all race events, cars and coffees, and general enthusiast meet-ups to a halt.
What hasn’t halted, is the enthusiasm and love we all have for cars. If your social media feeds look anything like mine, there is no shortage of content to absorb. There is also the palpable desire for everyone in the car community to go for a drive, and meet up with friends again, soon.
A Path Forward
Once we have figured the path to safely gather in public, gather we will! Granted, Cars and Coffee may look different with a little more space between cars and people, but that’s okay. The fact remains, we will be there admiring each other’s cars, and talking about what we plan to do to them or with them.
I look forward to seeing the innovative masks people will be wearing. Someone has to have created a Calvin pissing on “insert marque here” face mask by now. I can’t wait to walk the parking lot of my local event, coffee in hand. I’ll admire the sweet rides of my local area while trying to figure out how to drink coffee with a mask on.
Most of all, I can’t wait to go for a long, meaningless drive through the country with no particular place to go. Sure, I’ve made a few trips to the grocery store via the “long way.” Forty-five minutes the wrong direction to end up at the store 10 minutes from my house is still an essential trip for food, officer. But it’s not the same as hopping in the car, in this case putting the top-down of my “new” 2005 Boxster, and just driving.
As much damage as the pandemic has inflicted on society, whether through the loss of friends, family, or employment, people will persevere. Especially in a community as passionate as the car community. While some may feel its trivial to focus on a hobby like your car at this time, I couldn’t disagree more.
Embrace Your Passions
Confronting tragedy by bemoaning it and fearing the future is the path of hopelessness and loss. You have to focus on the positive, focus on how you will make things better, and how you will make the people around you better. That is why the auto enthusiast community is robust and will bounce back to have a great summer this year.
By going through adversity, we will appreciate our opportunities, relish the ability to assemble and share our passions. I can’t wait to see the first gathering at Hunt Valley after the “quarantine” is lifted. It will be different, but it will be special all the same.
I’ll be there with my camera, looking at the fantastic cars people have labored over and display with pride. If anything, everyone’s car should be super clean at this point!
Despite all that the world has gone through in the past months, we will come through to establish a new normal (as normal as car folks can be, of course). We will gather again in the morning sun in a parking lot, or race track near you to share stories. We will go for drives or meet-ups at restaurants for dinner, and we will all enjoy each other’s company again, and I can’t wait!
Stay safe, and keep the shiny side up.