You’re all familiar with the photo on this page. You’re tired ot it. So am I, so this will be the only page where you’ll see an image – or even read the name – of Covid-19.

This isn’t a case of wishful ignorance, where the characters of Friends lived in a Manhattan devoid of 9/11 or PFC Gomer Pyle never quite made the full trip from Mayberry to the Mekong Delta. The coronavirus doesn’t make an appearance beyond this point because it’s a 2020 concern; nobody made import/export decisions in 2019 based on the pandemic.

Does Covid-19 impact our analysis of 2019 hard-surface imports? You bet. It’s an understatement that 2020 will be an atypical year for all world industries, including our own niche corner of natural stone, quartz surfaces and porcelain slab. Year-to-year trends went on lockdown with the rest of us and won’t repeat in 2020.

The 2019 review does offer plenty of information on imports that can aid in plotting out strategies for picking up in 2020 where we all left off, and possibly hint at what’s going to happen in 2021. And, if nothing else, here's something new to fill the time while maintaining proper social distancing.

Take care and get ready for the second half of 2020!

Emerson Schwartzkopf