Wednesday, July 29, 2020

This Happened For the First Time Since WWII

Edward Dzialo 7/29/2020

In comparison to what is going on in the world, this is a small thing: for the first time since WWII, the NC State Fair is being canceled. Again, this is not a travesty insomuch as it stands alongside COVID-19, nation-wide protests, and economic uncertainty—not by any measure. 

It is a small occurrence, relatively. 

But it’s one that has led me to think of larger issues. Like Malcolm Gladwell wrote in The Tipping Point, “...the fact that little causes can have big effects.”

The cancellation of a fair led me to think about the last 70 years and the difficulty of everything that we (as citizens and as a business) are facing today.

The Last Seven Decades

It began with thinking about all the various things that have happened in and around our country since the mid-twentieth century: the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the JFK Assassination, Civil Rights Protests, the Vietnam War, Watergate, the stock market collapsing (twice), 9/11, Hurricane Katrina.

And yet, throughout it all, people still went and enjoyed the NC State Fair. During a time of unease and continuous complications, the idea of people doing something wholesome and family-oriented, seemed like a comforting one. 


It’s hard to imagine people going to the NC State Fair during the Vietnam War. More than 2.7 million Americans, roughly 9.7% of an entire generation, spent time in Vietnam. It’s not a stretch—more like a statistical certainty—that there were families at the NC State Fair who had loved ones in Vietnam while they were enjoying the fair.

At first, you wonder how people could go about their day being under that level of stress and uncertainty. But they did. Why?

It’s because there was no other option. You either keep moving or you do nothing. Decide. Act. I used to have a mentor who told me that a half-decent plan executed quickly beats the perfect plan carried out later.

With as much information as we get on COVID-19 and how to handles it, it’s a continuing, evolving thing. Although this is not unreasonable due to the unique nature of the obstacle we face, it doesn’t make the situation any easier to navigate.

We, along with our clients and customers, are still finding a way to maneuver the constantly-changing road in front of us.

And this is where we find ourselves today.


When I used to skydive, my teacher would tell me never to change more than one thing at a time. If I bought a new helmet, every other piece of equipment would need to stay the same. New rig? Then I would jump out of the same plane that I usually went up in.

His reasoning was simple: don’t give yourself more than you can handle.

2020 hasn’t listened to my old teacher’s advice. It’s been a year of continuous debate and difficulty. As of this writing, it is predicted that the COVID-19-related death toll could rise to the hundreds of thousands if interventions aren’t taken. Unemployment checks are about to lessened. Business might remain closed or heavily restricted. 

The Impact

Though I have said this in the past, I will say it again: our role within the trucking industry is one of support. When I look over the challenges that we face as both citizens and as business during the pandemic, I am more inclined to think about the people we support: truckers.

And it comes back to the original question of how to keep moving forward. Like the people who kept going to fair for the last seventy years despite what was happening in the world, how are we to do the same?

Especially since we’re seeing curveball after curveball. The economy is in danger, COVID-19 is building momentum again, offices are shutting back down (Google announced they’re offices would be closed until the summer of 2021 [a year from now]).

People are doing their best to move forward in the ways that they can.

SPAN Enterprises

Here at SPAN Enterprises, we are doing what do every year during this time: filing Form 2290s for our truckers. Why? It’s, in part, what we do. And just like the fair, we are going to keep doing what we do so well.

We are being socially responsible and working remotely, but we’re no different than the generations of people before us who kept going to the fair despite what was happening in the world.

Unlike the fair, we are staying open. Continuing to operate safely within the parameters.

If you need help filing your Form 2290 in these upcoming weeks, we will be here.

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